Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Everyday life in the Holy Land"

See other formats

TR^ S 


Evening at the Well 


in the HOLY LAND 


Formerly Incumbent of Christ Church, Jerusalem, and Acting Chaplain and 

Examining Chaplain to the former Lord Bishop of Jerusalem, Dr.Goba!. 

Author of " Palestine Explored," " Pictured Palestine," &c. 




London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne 




Introduction vii 

Evening at the Well i 

Desert Dwellers 13 

"A House of Hair "—Interior of Bedaween Tent . .21 

Shepherd and Sheepfold 31 

Leopards in "The Pride of Jordan" 41 

"Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death" . . 49 

Interior of a Fellahheen House— Early Morning in 

Winter 57 

Interior of a Fellahheen House by Night 67 

Evening Meal among the Fellahheen .... 79 

The Lot and Line 87 

Ploughing near Nazareth 95 

Scenes on the Threshing Floor 103 

Sifting Wheat in 

An Olive Yard 119 

Sanctuary— The Phantasia of the White Banner . .125 

Fishing in the Lake of Galilee 137 

Road Scene near Nazareth 145 

The Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem 153 




An Oriental Bazaar Street 

The Water-Seller and Palestine Town Life 

The 'Atal, or Burden-Bearer 

"Friend, Go Up Higher" — Belladeen Hospitality 
The Evening Meal among the Belladeen 
The 'Al'meh, or Dancing Girl 

A Town Hareem 

The Oriental Cafe 

Choosing a Bride 

A Village Bride's Procession . 

A Bridal Procession in a Town 

"A Bride Adorned for her Husband". 

" Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh" 

The First Look at the Eastern Bride 

Appendix, Giving Notes .... 

Index to Scripture References 








THE pictures of everyday life in the Holy Land given 
in this work purport to show that life at all points 
with minute and perfect accuracy. The great im- 
portance of such a portrayal of Palestine life, its manners 
and customs and natural features, may be briefly gathered 
from the five following facts : 

First, everything in that life is strange to us. Every 
feature of it is foreign to our experience in the modern 
life of the North-West. As Volney says in his Travels in 
Syria, it is a wonderful thing that men of like passions 
with ourselves and of the same Indo-European stock should 
do all things differently from the way in which we do 
them, and live among surroundings which present a count- 
less number of total contrasts to ours. 

Secondly, the life is unchanged from the earliest ages. 
" Immutability is the most striking law of Eastern life." 
Not only is change of any kind thought inexpedient, but 
more, it is held to be morally wrong. Everything is bound 
to conform to aadeh, 'custom." A'adeh is inexorable; it 
binds their life with an adamantine chain. They must not, 
cannot, dare not, do anything differently from the way their 
ancestors have done it. Thus all we see in Syria to-day — 
apart from European influence — is of hoary antiquity, a life 
five thousand years old ! 

viii Introduction 

Thirdly, this life is absolutely uniform. From the far 
South of Egypt to the far North of Syria all things are 
alike. Every piece of furniture, every agricultural or horti- 
cultural implement, every manufacture, the building and 
arrangement of every house — all is of one pattern. Every 
work of the same kind is done everywhere in the same way. 
" Variety is charming " is a Western proverb which the Orient 
utterly repudiates. The spirit of the East calls, in all things, 
for a stereotyped and monotonous uniformity. If you have 
seen one pattern of inkpot, pen, table, coffee cup, brazier, 
ewer and basin, shirt, cloak, girdle, head-dress, footgear, 
you have seen all. No different modes, no passing fashions, 
change, or ever have changed, the primitive features of Pales- 
tine life. To Western minds, and in an age like ours, this 
seems little less than a standing miracle. Thus wonderfully 
has the power and goodness of God afforded us, through- 
out the lands of the Bible, a living, accurate, exhaustive, 
divinely preserved commentary on its inspired pages ! 

For, fourthly, the Bible, on its human side, is as much 
an Eastern book as the Arabian Nights Entertainment. It 
was written in the East, by Easterns, for Easterns in the 
first instance, and, as to much of it, for long ages for East- 
erns only, in the language and highly figurative style of the 
East, and all about what took place in the East. Holy 
Scripture is therefore a purely Oriental gem with nothing 
North-Western about it. Hence to fully understand the 
letter of the Written Word an intimate knowledge of every- 
day life in the Holy Land is absolutely necessary. Without 
this, in a thousand places, it is impossible to elucidate its 
meaning, remove its difficulties, picture its scenes, or realise 
its beautv. 

Introduction ix 

Fifthly, notwithstanding this, no great book has suffered 
more than the Bible at the hands of its would-be illustrators. 
The painters of the Middle Ages, and even of the Renaissance, 
in their beautiful pictures, glorious works of art as they 
are, have, in every instance, given us a parody of its scenes; 
whilst the ablest modern artists like Dore, and even Tissot, 
with many another, have allowed imagination to mar their 
labours. Incredible as it seems, even in our day, in all 
the world there does not exist a Biblical museum worthy 
of the name ! 

Perfect illustration of Holy Scripture, true and uncon- 
ventional at all points, has long been a deep need. The 
difficulty in the way of obtaining it was to find an artist 
who had painted in Syria, and who would be willing and 
able to work under the constant supervision and direction 
of one who was intimately acquainted with all the features 
of the ancient, unchanged, uniform life of Palestine and 
the adjacent Bible lands. This difficulty may be said to 
have been fully overcome in the case of the unique series 
of some fifty-three oil paintings which I now possess, by Mr. 
James Clark, R.I., assisted by Mr. J. Macpherson-Haye, and 
the late Mr. S. B. Carlill, and in which the utmost care 
has been taken to render the scenes and allusions of Holy 
Scripture with minute accuracy. Thirty-two of these are 
reproduced in the following pages. No Bible characters 
are portrayed, because to have given these would have in- 
troduced an element conventional and untrue, and to supply 
illustrations that really illustrate, truthful at all points, and per- 
fectly realistic, has been our uniform effort in this important 
work. The result is nothing less than a new and true school 
of Biblical art. 

x Introduction 

It is only fair to Mr. James Clark and his able coad- 
jutors to say that, if beauty has been sacrificed to truth in 
any part of the work, the fault is mine and not theirs. 
I would plead with art critics to consider the difficulty of 
crowding so much illustrative detail within the limits of a 
single canvas ; and also to bear in mind that the treatment 
lias necessarily had to be broad and large. How far success 
has been obtained the general reader may gather from the 
judgment of that great painter of Scriptural scenes and true 
genius, the late Mr. Frederic Shields. He wrote: "Merely 
to review these brilliant pictures of Oriental lands and life 
gives far more vivid impression and more ineffaceable than 
any attempts at such illustrations known to me." 

It only remains to add that in the letterpress descriptions 
I have endeavoured, by retranslation and brief comment, 
to give, as nearly as possible, the meaning of the Biblical 
passages quoted, so as to make the light thrown on the 
language of Scripture as fresh and full as that thrown by 
the pictures on its life. 

To avoid marring the appearance of the pages by count- 
less notes, Scripture references are given in an appendix at 
the end of the book. 

at the Well 

Everyday Life in the 
Holy Land 

Evening at the Well 

THE scene is drawn at "the time of evening, the time 
of coming out of women to draw water," that is, 
towards the hour of sunset, when the heat has abated, 
and there is still daylight. It is that time called "the wind 
of the day," in our Version "the cool of the day," the 
hour when Adam and Eve "heard the voice of God walk- 
ing in the garden"; so named because almost every day 
during the seven months of the dry, hot season a cool, 
gentle breeze comes up at noon from "the great sea west- 
ward," the Mediterranean Sea, and continues till dusk, which, 
most happily, relieves the intense heat. 

A glorious sunset is here depicted. Around a Palestine 
well are seen gathered representatives of the three distinct 
conditions of Eastern life, the bedaween, the fellahheen, and the 
belladeen. The full understanding of these three conditions, 
to one or other of which all dwellers in Bible lands be- 
long, lies at the foundation of any clear knowledge of the 
manners and customs of the East, and of the countless 
allusions to these manners and customs in Holy Scripture. 

The bedaween, who derive their name from the Arabic, 
beda, "desert," the desert dwellers, the nomad Arabs, are 
sheepmasters and herdsmen, whose home is the vast wilder- 


2 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

nesses that, on the south, east, and north-east, surround 
the Holy Land. They live in low, gipsy-like tents of goat's 
or camel's hair sackcloth, or, as they call them, "houses 
of hair." 

In our picture a bedawee is seen standing by the camel 
on which his wife is seated. The camel is the principal 
sumpter animal possessed by these desert tribes, who are 
their chief breeders and owners. Abraham and Jacob, who 
lived as bedaween, as well as Isaac and the twelve patriarchs, 
had camels. The Ishmaelites, the descendants of Abraham's 
son Ishmael, trading to Egypt, " came with their camels." 
The Midianites, also bedaween, descended from Abraham's 
son Midian, invaded Palestine, "they and their camels with- 
out number." 

The men of the bedaween wear a white cotton shirt, 
the kamise of the Arabs, a black goat's hair sackcloth 
cloak, and are specially distinguished by their head-dress, 
consisting mainly of a large flowing scarf of silk or cotton, 
called kefeeyah, bound round their head by an akal, a twisted 
rope of goat's or camel's hair, generally about two inches 
thick. Artists say this is the most picturesque head-dress 
worn by men. On their feet they wear sandals, or, when 
riding, red leather turned-up and pointed-toed top boots, very 
stout and clumsy, called jezmeh. The sandal is a stout 
sole of leather under the foot, which is bound to it by a 
thong, or string of hide, passed round between the ankle 
and the heel, and then brought over the top of the foot 
and between the great toe and the second toe, and fastened 
to the sole by a leathern button. This is no doubt "the 
sandal" of the Bible, spoken of sometimes in our Authorised 
Version as "the shoe," for it was worn by the poorest of 
the fellahheen as well as by the bedaween. When sending 
out His fellahheen disciples as poor men, our Lord told 
them to "be shod with sandals, and not put on two shirts." 

Evening at the Well 3 

The angel who appeared to Peter in prison said, "Bind on 
thy sandals." The dress of the women of the bedaween is 
a long robe of indigo blue cotton, with an indigo blue or 
dark green cotton head-dress and veil. 

The fellahheen are the farmers and farm labourers. The 
name is derived from the Arabic, fellahh, "cultivator," or 
'ploughman," and they live in the unwalled villages and 
till the soil. The distinction between towns and villages, just 
as we find it to-day, is carefully made in the law of Moses. 
The city had a wall round it, and was entered by gates ; while 
the village was without a wall and gates. (Lev. xxv. 29-31.) It 
is true that we read of the gates of some villages, as the gate 
of Bethlehem (Ruth i. 11) and of Nain (Luke vii. 12) ; and 
that, speaking of villages as well as of towns, it is said, "Judges 
and officers shalt thou appoint in all thy gates." (Deut. xvi. 
18.) But in these cases the word "gate" is used by way of 
metaphor for "principal place of entrance" in the closely 
clustered group of village houses, where, as at the literal 
gates of towns, the market and court were held. These 
villagers, the " cultivators," are, and always were, the bulk of 
the population in all Oriental lands, the 'am ha-arets, "the 
people of the land" of the Hebrew Bible, the polus ochlos, 
the "great crowd," that is, "the masses," of the New 
Testament, of whom we read when the Master spoke 
"they heard Him gladly." The fellahheen, as shown by 
their representative in this picture, wear as their only 
garments a white cotton shirt, or tunic— the kamise of the 
Arabs^ and the chiton of the New Testament, translated 
"coat"— very wide and full, which reaches to the ankles; 
but which, when they gird, that is, fasten their leathern 
or coarse worsted girdle round their loins, they take up at 
the front and tuck into the girdle, leaving their legs naked 
from the knee downwards, so as to be free for work. 
"Girding," therefore, stands as a figure of preparation 

4 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

for, or engaging in, work, service, travelling, or warfare. 
Girding and the girdle also stand for "strength." On 
the other hand, to "loosen the girdle" is "to weaken." 
The girdle, too, is also used as a metaphor to represent 
that which clings closely, for it is the only tight-fitting part 
of Oriental dress. 

Over the chiton they wear a* striped brown and white 
or indigo-blue and white goat's or camel's hair cloak, the 
stripes of which are always perpendicular. It is not only 
made of sackcloth, but it is roughly in the form of a very 
broad long sack ; open down the front, and with two small 
apertures on either side at the top, through which the 
hands are put. This is called in Arabic aba, or abaiyeh, 
or meshleh. It is sometimes made of coarse worsted. It 
is, when made of hair, quite waterproof. For a great part 
of the year it is seldom worn, the fellahh working in his 
kamise, or shirt, alone. It is the "cloak," "garment," 
"raiment," or "vesture" of our English Bible, wherever 
the fellahheen are alluded to, the salmah, livoosh, malboosh or 
adereth of the Hebrew Old Testament, and the himation, 
himatismos, or enduma of the Greek New Testament. 

The head of the fellahh, as of all other men in the 
East, is close shaven, and his head-dress is the turban, 
consisting of four parts, a small skull cap of soft, white felt, 
over this another skull cap of white cotton cloth called 
arukeeyeh or takeeyeh, surmounted in turn by a red cloth fez, 
or tarboosh, with a huge black or indigo- blue silk tassel, 
and wound round all a liffey, a scarf or shawl, of wool, 
cotton, or silk. This is the fellahh 1 s pocket-book, where, in 
its several recesses, he carries his letters and papers, just as 
his "purse" is a pouch on the inner side of his girdle. 
"Purse" is in the Greek zonee, "girdle," in Matt. x. 9 and 
Mark vi. 8. 

He has rude, natural-coloured or red leather shoes, 

Evening at the Well 5 

coming to a point, and turned up at the toes, the Arabic 
surmaiyeh, and these shoes he often carries in his hand when 
in full dress, for the soles of his feet are as well tanned as 
any Hebron leather— why should he wear shoes ? The 
foregoing are all the clothes worn by the fellahheen. 

Their women, the fellahhat, wear no underclothing or 
stockings, but only a long indigo-blue cotton kamise, or 
tunic, down to their ankles, very full, like that of the 
men, with wide, long sleeves, and a girdle of dark red 
woollen or cotton cloth. Their head-dress consists of a 
white cotton skull cap, over this a heavy red cloth tarboosh 
adorned at the front with rows of coins, and an immense 
veil attached to the tarboosh in the form of a sheet of cotton 
cloth about four feet six inches square. They have, for 
a cloak, an aba or abaiyeh, something like that worn by the 
men, but not so wide or long, which they only put on 
at times ; and leather shoes, either natural-coloured or red, 
similar to those of the men, though, for the greater part 
of the year, like the men, they go barefooted. These are 
ordinarily all the clothes they wear. The fellahhah in our 
picture, who has come to fill her pitcher at the well, is 
girded for walking and work; for the women gird in the 
same way as the men. "The mother of Jesus" must 
have dressed and lived as one of these fellahhat. 

The third condition of Eastern life is represented by 
the belladee, or townsman, who is seen in our picture seated 
on the ground. The belladeen are the dwellers in the bellad, 
or "town," the polls of the Greek New Testament, which, 
as we have seen, is distinguished from the kome, or "village," 
by being surrounded by a high wall with large and strong 
gates, which are closed at nightfall. 

They are the merchants, shopkeepers, artisans, ministers 
or teachers of religion, scribes (the writers or learned class), 
the high governing officials, and the soldiers whose barracks, 

6 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

as in New Testament times, adjoin the governor's palace, 
known as the Serai, or "Residency." The dress of these 
belladeen is much more elaborate. Their numerous gar- 
ments, though differing wholly at all points from ours, 
inasmuch as they are exceedingly loose, flowing, com- 
fortable, healthy, and most artistic, are numerous, and they 
wear socks, jerebat or kelsat, an inner slipper of soft leather, 
kazsheen, and over this the surniaiyeh, or shoe. 

They are specially distinguished by two robes, the 
kumbaz or knftan, an over tunic, and the cloak, the jibbeh, 
or jook, one form of which is called beneesh. The kumbaz 
is a long dressing-gown -like garment, which is open 
down the front, but worn lapped over and closed. It 
is then bound together round the waist by the zunnar, 
or girdle, in this case a scarf or narrow shawl, often five 
yards long, of silk, cotton, or woollen cloth, brightly 
coloured. This robe, which is made of cotton or silk, has 
always a pattern of vertical straight stripes, sometimes of 
all the hues of the rainbow, though red and gold alone 
are very favourite colours. The sleeves of this kumbaz or 
kuftan are very long, extending some three or four inches 
beyond the fingers' ends; but, dividing at a point about 
the middle of the forearm, they hang down so as to 
leave the hand exposed. 

The cloak, which answers to the aba or abaiyeh of the 
fellahheen, the jibbeh, though loose and sack-like, and open 
entirely down the front, has wide sleeves, and is of fine 
cloth, often lined with fur, and dyed in all manner of bright, 
pure, self colours — red, blue, orange, purple, green, etc. 
The sleeves of the jibbeh, which end at the wrist, are much 
shorter than those of the kuftan, which hang down some 
ten to twelve inches below them. The beneesh is a cloth 
robe like the jibbeh, with long sleeves divided like those 
of the kuftan but ampler. There is also another cloak similar 

Evening at the Well 7 

to the beneesh, called farageeyeh, with long, wide sleeves 
which are slit. Their head-dress is the turban, similar in 
most respects to that worn by the fellahheen, but the liffey, 
or shawl of the turban, is larger, cleaner, and of lighter and 
more delicate colours and materials. This is the full dress. 

But the young men, servants, and tradesmen often 
wear very large, loose pantaloons, gathered in at the ankles, 
and drawn together and held in position at the waist by 
a cord, or sash, called dikky. In this case a sudereeyeh, or 
waistcoat without sleeves, is worn, which is buttoned up 
to the neck with numerous ornamental buttons, and, over 
the waistcoat, an elegant zouave jacket, the kubran. The 
women of the belladeen class will be described in connection 
with other pictures. 

There never were many towns in Bible lands, and 
the comparatively few references to belladeen life in Scripture 
are mostly in the case of the courts of kings, and when 
the prophets are denouncing luxury, or when we read of 
the priests and Levites who were assigned forty-eight 
towns in Palestine, including the six cities of refuge, in 
which they were commanded to reside, for they were 
specially forbidden to cultivate land or live like the fellahheen. 
(Numb. xxxv. 1-15.) Of agricultural holdings they possessed 
none ; for Joshua, at the division among the tribes, gave to 
the Levites "no inheritance among them ... no portion . . . 
in the land, save cities to dwell in, and their suburbs for 
their cattle and for their substance." (Josh. xiv. 3, 4.) 

The Lord Jesus was unquestionably a fellahh, as were 
most of the apostles. Nothing is clearer than this. Christ 
was born in the village of Bethlehem. He was taken, at 
about one to four years of age, to the village of Nazareth, 
where He lived in the home of Joseph, the village car- 
penter, for at least twenty-eight years. Cast out of Nazareth, 
at the commencement of His ministry, He chose a new 

8 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

home in the village of Capernaum, represented now by 
the ruins of Tell Hum, which, though extensive, have no 
surrounding wall with gates, and so mark a village. When 
the Lord came up to Jerusalem He never seems to have 
spent a night in the city, but lodged with His humble 
friends, Mary and Martha, and their brother, Lazarus, 
peasants like Himself with whom He would feel at home ! 
As a fellahh our Lord would have worn only five 
articles of clothing, namely : — 

1. A kamise, or long cotton shirt. 

2. A leather or coarse worsted girdle worn round the 

3. A turban. 

4. Shoes. 

5. An aba or abaiyeh, a cloak made of goat's or 
camel's hair sackcloth or of coarse worsted. 

It is often asked upon which of these did the soldiers 
cast lots. The first four were about equal in value, and 
each of the four soldiers would naturally agree to take 
one of these such as he needed. But the fifth, the aba or 
abaiyeh, is some three times the value of each of the other 
four articles of dress, and would naturally be the one over 
for which they would cast lots. Besides this is the one 
which is sometimes, especially in the region of Northern 
Galilee, "woven without seam from the top throughout," 
and is then of still greater value. (John xix. 23.) 

The well in the midst of the group is simply a boring 
in the ground, surrounded at the mouth with a ring of 
stone, worn through long years into deep grooves by the 
rope being drawn up against it, as the bucket full of water 
is raised. There is "nothing to draw with," no windlass, 
bucket, or rope attached to an ordinary Eastern well. 
Travellers carry their own bucket and rope about with 
them. The bucket used for this purpose, it will be seen, 

Evening at the Well 9 

is a small one, much longer than it is broad, made of 
leather, so that it can be easily carried about without 
getting broken. Christ and His disciples were so poor that 
they had not this means of obtaining water, and hence the 
Saviour's opportunity of engaging the woman of Samaria 
in discourse by addressing to her the words, "Give Me to 
drink." It is a serious breach of Eastern etiquette to 
speak to a strange woman, rendered graver in this case by 
the one speaking being a Jew, and as such hateful to all 
Samaritans. In fact, when the disciples came back we read 
"they marvelled that He talked with a woman" — not 
"the woman," as in the Authorised Version. But even 
an Eastern woman may be appealed to by a parched and 
thirsty traveller, who could not otherwise obtain water, 
asking her for a drink. It was in this way that Abraham's 
servant was able without offence to enter into conversation 
with Rebekah at the well in Mesopotamia. (John iv. 7, 17 ; 
Gen. xxiv. 14, 17.) 

He, Who was so poor that He had not where to lay 
His head, and must needs take long journeys without the 
ordinary and most necessary accessories of travel — Who, as 
the apostle says, thus "became poor that ye through His 
poverty might become rich" — now, by means of this 
very poverty, was enabled to bring the riches of His grace 
to the heart of this poor sinful woman, and through her 
to so many of the men of her village. 

The fetching of water, which has constantly to be 
brought a distance of a quarter of a mile to a mile from 
the spring or well, falls to the women. It is heavy work, 
for the earthenware vessel used for this service is a very 
large one. A powerful friend of mine, when a young man, 
the late Mr. H. A. Harper, the eminent painter of Palestine 
scenery, when on one of his first visits to the Holy Land, 
told me he saw a fellahhah, or peasant woman, trying to 

io Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

lift her water-pot when it was full, and, contrary to the 
stringent etiquette of the East, of which he was not then 
aware, like a gallant young Englishman, attempted to help 
her. He said to me, "I confess with shame I could not 
lift the pot a foot from the ground. Just then another 
woman came by, and the two between them raised it with- 
out any difficulty, and placed it on the pad upon the carrier's 
head, and she bore it off with ease to her home." It is 
this practice of carrying such a heavy weight on the head 
that gives these fellahhat and the women of the bedaween 
the fine figures and graceful carriage shown in these pic- 
tures, and which artists have so greatly admired. 

The work of drawing and carrying water is only done 
by women. Men call it shougal niswan, "women's affairs," 
and, with the powerful caste spirit of the Orient, would 
scorn to take part in it. Hence appears the striking and 
hitherto unsuspected character of the sign which the Lord 
gave to His two disciples, Peter and John, by which they 
should know where to prepare the Passover, "There will 
meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water ; follow him 
into the house where he enters." To the ordinary English 
reader this seems likely to be too common an occurrence 
to form any certain and striking sign. But so far from this 
being the case, it was in Jerusalem then, as it would be to- 
day, a truly strange and altogether exceptional thing. In 
all probability this was the only man in the city that day 
bearing a water-pot, and it is difficult to understand how 
he had come to do such work. Peter and John must 
have marvelled when the sign was given them, and still 
more when they witnessed its miraculous fulfilment, and 
thus knew for certain the house to which the Lord would 
have them go. (Luke xxii. 10, 13; Mark xiv. 13-16.) 


Desert Dwellers 

OF the three conditions of Oriental life, that of the 
bedaween is at once the simplest and most picturesque. 
They proudly call themselves Arab el Arab, "the 
Arab of Arabs," a superlative, meaning "the chief Arab," 
and have their home in the desert (Arabic beda) — whence 
their name bedaween, that is, " desert dwellers." Well 
may they be proud, for these descendants from Abraham's 
son, Ishmael, unlike the Jews, the poor captive descendants 
from his other son, Isaac, have never once been conquered 
and subjugated by another nation, but have enjoyed un- 
broken freedom ever since some 4,000 years ago they 
started their national life. The proof of this is that they 
do not speak one word of any other language but their 
own — the purest Arabic. Thus wonderfully through four 
millenniums has the prophecy of the angel to Hagar been 
fulfilled. "He [Ishmael, in the persons of his descendants] 
shall be a wild ass [pere] man, his hand against everyone, and 
everyone's hand against him." (Gen. xvi. 11, 12.) The wild 
ass, the wildest, freest, and most untamable of animals, 
which has its home in the desert, perfectly pictures their life 
of gipsy-like wandering and freedom ; whilst having their 
hand " against everyone " graphically describes their constant 
fighting amongst themselves and their preying upon all 
around them, and is a plain prediction that they should 
be able, as they have done, to defy the whole world, each 
mighty neighbouring empire in turn, and remain the one 
unconquered nation ! 


14 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

The dress of the bedaween women is very graceful. 
Their one robe is of indigo-blue cotton cloth, the kamise, 
with head-dress of the same colour, or else of dark green. 
The sleeves of this robe are from three to four yards long, 
and it has a train of about the same length. Ordinarily, 
when working or travelling, their sleeves are tied in a bow 
behind their necks, and then appear quite short, whilst the 
long train of their robe is gathered up and tucked into 
the girdle, thus leaving their arms and legs bare. But 
when in full dress, and the weather is dry, they trail their 
sleeves and train upon the ground, as in our picture, and this, 
in conjunction with their line figures and exceedingly grace- 
ful carriage, presents a very striking and elegant appearance. 

There are three ways in which they carry their children, 
and these are common to all Eastern women, though mostly 
seen amongst the bedaween and fellahheen. Sometimes they 
place them, especially in early infancy, in a scarf slung 
hammock-wise over their back. At other times the children 
are placed astride on the mother's hip, in which case her 
hand is placed under them for support. But the way they 
mostly employ, and it begins as soon as the children are 
old enough to sit up, is placing them astride upon their 
shoulders. Assyrian and Egyptian sculptures show that this 
custom was just the same 4,000 years ago. This last way 
of carrying a child serves three important ends. First, it 
strengthens and improves the woman's figure, expanding 
her chest, making her more upright, and giving elegance 
to her movements and mode of walking. Secondly, when 
the child has learnt, as it soon does, to support itself alone, 
it possesses the great advantage of leaving both her arms 
and hands free for work. But its chief importance lies 
in its teaching the boy to ride on horseback, exercising 
from infancy those muscles of his knees by which the proper 
riding grip is taken ; and this gives to Easterns that fear- 

Desert Dwellers 15 

less and immovable seat in the saddle for which they are 
justly renowned. For a bedawee will place a lira, or Turkish 
sovereign, between his knee and the saddle, and, after a 
day's coursing and hawking, will produce it again ! But 
I say advisedly it teaches the boys, for the poor, despised 
little daughters would rarely, if ever, be carried on the 
mother's shoulders, though, as women all ride astride in 
the East like men, the girls, too, would equally benefit 
by being carried in this way. 

Hence the force of the graphic picture of Israel's 
honour in the coming time, when their former proud perse- 
cutors will become their humble and loyal servants, even 
the highest of them, in that day of which Isaiah declares: — 

" And thy daughters on their shoulders shall be carried, 
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, 
And their princesses thy nursing mothers." 

It will be seen that there is here a touch of intense mean- 
ing given to the picture of the honour which God has 
in store for His ancient people, and one which a Western 
would naturally overlook, when the prophet says, throwing 
strong emphasis in the Hebrew on the word " daughters," 
by giving it the first place in the sentence, 

"Thy daughters on their shoulders shall be carried." (Isa. xlix. 22, 23.) 

A mounted bedawee is shown on one of the far-famed 
Arab horses, holding in his hand the truly formidable spear, 
eighteen to twenty feet long, borne by these warriors. It is a 
most formidable weapon, and is doubtless the spear of the 
Bible. The Midianites were a vast tribe of bedaween, and we 
must picture them as just such men as these, coming up with 
their camels, covering the rich, fertile plain of Jezreel "like 
locusts in number," raiding the villages, and robbing the 
threshing-floors, just as these desert tribes have been doing 

16 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

down to the present day. Their mounts make them a 
most powerful cavalry. The staying power, speed, clever- 
ness, and docility of these thoroughbred Arab horses can 
hardly be realised by those who have not seen them in their 
own warm, dry clime, breathing the exquisitely pure, dry 
air of the deserts, where they are bred, some of the healthiest 
spots on earth. They can take immense journeys, cover- 
ing from seventy to eighty miles a day. When I went to re- 
side at Jerusalem, I bought from the Pasha a young thorough- 
bred Arab stallion, with many generations of pure blood. 
He was as sure-footed as a goat, and could run rapidly up 
and down steep, slippery stone stairways, and the steepest de- 
clivities, so that no matter how bad the rocks and paths— and 
there was not a made road in all Southern Palestine in those 
d a y S _I never had occasion to dismount, feeling safer on 
his back than on my own feet. On one occasion he 
brought me from Jaffa to Jerusalem, an ascent of 2,600 
feet, and a distance of some forty miles, at one unbroken 
canter, through three mountain passes, where the way up 
and down was a mere goat track, in three hours and forty 
minutes! The' bedaween's age-long freedom and unvan- 
quished power are largely to be accounted for by their 
possession of these magnificent steeds, and their almost 
equally valuable camels, next to the protection afforded by 
the inaccessible nature of the deserts where they dwell. 
"Well may the psalmist speak of "the strength of a horse, '| 
and well, in the East, might "some trust ... in horses," 
and rebellious Israel boast, "We will flee upon horses . . . 
we will ride on the swift," for the Almighty Himself 
alludes to its power when He asks impotent man, "Hast 
thou given the horse strength?" 

On the right of the picture stands a bedaween sheikh, 
or chieftain, just in all respects what Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 
the twelve patriarchs, and Job must have been. In his hand 

Desert Dwellers 17 

is seen a staff on which he is leaning. This staff is the 
matteh of the Hebrew Bible, the rude undressed bough 
of a tree. It is a most important rod of office. It is borne 
by the sheikh, or chieftain, of the village, as well as by the 
sheikh of a bedaween tribe. His father held it before him, 
and it will descend to his eldest son, for it appertains to 
the hereditary ruler. But it is the mark of priestly as well as 
princely rank, for the muftee, who is a kind of chief priest, 
and the ullama, the Mohammedan religious teachers, who 
answer in like manner to the priests, all bear in right of 
their office, and may be seen carrying in public, on im- 
portant occasions, a staff like the one I have described. 

The matteh was the staff that Tamar demanded from 
Judah, together with his bracelets and signet or seal, as 
three certain marks of identification. The dying patriarch 
Jacob, when he had taken an oath from Joseph to bury 
him in the ancestral grave at Hebron, and thus shown his 
faith in the promise of God to give the Holy Land to 
his posterity, " worshipped [leaning] on the top of his 
matteh," for this is the true meaning of the word trans- 
lated 'bed" in Genesis, in the unpointed Hebrew, as 
Paul makes plain by his inspired quotation of the passage 
in Hebrews. The next mention of the matteh brings us 
to Sinai, for there at the burning bush Jehovah said to Moses, 
"What is that in thine hand? And he said, 'A matteh."' 
This staff of Moses is frequently called "Aaron's staff," 
to whom, both as the eldest son and the priest, we have 
seen that the matteh would naturally belong. This in the 
hands of Moses was the wonder-working rod by which 
the mattehs of Pharaoh's magicians were swallowed up, 
and all the miracles in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the 
subsequent desert journey were wrought. For, at his first 
commission at the burning bush, God said to Moses, 
"Thou shalt take this matteh in thy hand, wherewith thou 


18 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

shalt do [miraculous] signs." It is twice on this account 
called "the matteh of God," which is the Hebrew super- 
lative for "the mighty matteh." It was by budding, blossom- 
ing, and bearing almonds, when laid up before Jehovah in 
the Tabernacle before the testimony [the ark], together with 
the twelve other mattehs belonging respectively to the heads 
of the twelve tribes, that this "mighty matteh" proved 
Aaron's priesthood ; and from this miracle we learn that it 
was an almond wood staff. (Ex. iv. 17, 20; xvii. 9; Numb, 
xvii. 1-10.) 

In Psalm ex., which our Lord tells us speaks of Him- 
self, He is represented as Zion's King and Zion's Priest, 
for there, we are told, He is "to rule in the midst of His 
enemies," and that ruling is to be from the eternal 
throne, seated at Jehovah's right hand, and also that He 
is to be "a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." 
Of this Royal Priest, this "Priest upon His throne," we 
read, "Jehovah will send Thy mighty matteh out of Zion." 
But this matteh, or "ancestral staff," as we have seen, 
marks the priest as well as the prince, and that prince 
one of lineal descent. It is here, therefore, most fitly said 
to be given to Him Who is described as combining in 
His Person both offices, and as being the promised prince 
of David's direct line. 1 

Thus, too, it is prophetically intimated that, just as 
Aaron's High Priesthood was proved by his " mighty matteh " 
coming to life on the third day, after being laid up before 
the Lord, so Christ's High Priesthood would be proved by 
a still more wonderful miracle, namely, by His own body 
coming to life again on the third day after being laid up before 
the Lord in Jerusalem. 

1 In the author's Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 152-80, J. Nisbet and Co., 
full proof is given of this interesting discovery of the meaning of matteh, and the full 
light it throws on several obscure passages. 

"A House of Hair"— 
Interior of 
Bedaween Tent 

"A House of Hair" — Interior of Bedaween Tent 

ABEDAWEEN tent, or, as these Arabs call it, "a 
house of hair," is made of a very strong coarse 
sackcloth of goat's hair naturally black, or of camel's 
hair dyed black or very dark brown. The women spin 
the hair and weave it into cloth about twenty-seven inches 
wide. This tent cloth is quite waterproof and possesses 
the property of absorbing the sun's rays, and so these 
tents are much cooler than the white canvas tents of 
European travellers. With constant rough wear and ex- 
posure to all weathers, this black sackcloth soon comes to 
have a vtvy poor, dark, dirty appearance ; and hence the 
powerful contrast in the Song of Songs between the bride's 
low estate in herself and the glorious robe with which her 
kingly bridegroom provides her: — 

" Daughters of Jerusalem, 
Dark am I and comely, 
Like tents of Kedar, 
Like curtains of Solomon." (Cant. i. 5.) 

The tent is in the form of a parallelogram. To stretch 
and support it, rough, strong poles of various sizes are put 
upright beneath the hair cloth, usually nine in number, 
placed in three rows across the width of the tent, but 
sometimes these "pillars" are as many as twenty-four. 
The highest part of this "house of hair" is about seven 
to eight feet, sloping down from a ridge running along 
the centre, after the form of the inclined roof of a house. 
The lengths of hair cloth are generally sewn together so as 


22 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

to obtain sufficient width of tent covering, but sometimes 
they are pinned together with small hard-wood pins, the 
"taches," mentioned as connecting the Tabernacle "cur- 
tains of goat's hair," to "join the tent to be one." 

The Apostle Paul and Aquila and Priscilla, his wife, 
were tent makers, and it was by working at this trade that 
the great Apostle of the Gentiles maintained himself at 
Corinth. But the tents he made were, in all probability, 
the canvas tents of Roman soldiers and those of a similar 
kind used by townspeople. 

In setting up a bedaween tabernacle "cords," or "ropes, ' 
are used, attached at one end to the edge of the cloth 
and having a loop at the other, through which the tent- 
peg is passed and then driven into the ground. When the 
tent is large and heavy, longer cords and stronger tent- 
pegs are required to keep it in position. Thus Isaiah, 
speaking words of encouragement to Zion, cries, 

"Enlarge the place 01 thy tent, 
Lengthen thy cords, 
And make thy tent-pegs strong." (Isa. liv. 2.) 

The word I have rendered "tent-pegs" in the Hebrew, 
yathaid, like the similar Arabic wataid, bears this technical 
meaning in almost every place where it occurs. These 
tent-pegs, or stakes, are of hard wood, about two to three 
feet long, and are driven into the ground by a huge mallet 
with a head about three feet long and about eighteen 
inches in circumference. These are seen lying on the 
ground in the front of our picture. 

The prophet Zechariah declares that there shall come 

" out of him [Judah] a tent-peg," (Zech. x. 4.) 

a title of Messiah, for the tent-peg yathaid here stands by 
synecdoche, the part put for the whole, for "a sure abode," 

"A House of Hair" 23 

or "dwelling-place." Ezra, using the same trope, says, of 
the return from Babylon to Jerusalem, that Jehovah had 
given them "a tent-peg in His holy place," that is, "a 
dwelling-place in the holy city." 

Thus God declares of Messiah : — 

"I will fasten him as a tent-peg in a sure place." (Isa. xxii. 25.) 

The ruin of a tent is graphically described in the 

words : — 

"All my cords have been broken." (Jer. x. 20.) 

The tent of the sheikh, or chieftain, stands in the centre 
of the camp, and is sometimes 120 feet long. The other 
tents are pitched round it, often in a circle or semicircle, 
but in the case of large camps in a square form, the rows 
of tents being straight lines with street-like spaces left 
between them. Thus, in the camp of Israel in the wilder- 
ness, the tent of their Great Chief, Jehovah, the Tabernacle, 
occupied the centre ; and the enormous camp around, which 
could scarcely have been less than 200,000 tents to house 
the 2,000,000 of Israel, was rectangular. The name in 
Arabic given to such bedaween encampments is dowar, but 
in the Hebrew Bible they are called hatzeer or hatzair, 
meaning "court," or "enclosure," though this name is 
also given to villages, and frequently applied to the " courts " 
of the Tabernacle and the Temple. We read, in Genesis, 
these are the sons of Ishmael, and " these are their names by 
their camps [hhatzaireem]" 1 ; and Isaiah speaks of 

" The wilderness . . . 
The camps [hhatzaireem] Kedar dwells in." (Isa. xlii. 11.) 

In the case of an ordinary bedaween tent there are two 
apartments; one of these, the smaller, closely curtained off 
all round, is for the women, and the other for the men. 

24 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

This last is always open down one side. The men's part 
is on the right-hand side of the tent and the women's on 
the left, and the only entrance is the open side of the men's 
part. Both of these divisions, amongst the well-to-do, have 
carpets, cushions, and the camel's huge and heavily uphol- 
stered pack saddles lying on the ground to furnish seats. 
Thus Rachel sat most naturally, as upon a couch, on "the 
camel's furniture" under which she had hidden the tera- 
phim, the household gods, she had stolen from her father. 
(Gen. xxxi. 34.) 

The men's part is the reception room, the place of 
public entertainment; but the women in their private, 
curtained-off part of the tent, the hareem, can hear, and 
often, by peeping over the dividing curtain, as in our picture, 
can see what is going on in the men's part. Thus Sarah, 
though unseen, would hear Abraham's angel guests' announce- 
ment that she should have a son. (Gen. xviii. 9-15.) 

The kefeeyeh, or large square silk handkerchief, generally 
red, yellow, and chocolate coloured, with strings ending in 
tiny silk tassels, which forms a bedawee's head-dress, is a 
distinguishing mark of his costume. As will be seen in 
the case of the younger man in the picture, whose back 
is turned to the beholder, it is often arranged in a very 
picturesque way, so as to give the appearance of two small 
horns, one on each side of the head. The rope of camel's 
hair, sometimes two inches in diameter, which, placed twice 
round the head, binds on the kefeeyeh, is said to be a pre- 
servative from sunstroke. 

Another distinguishing mark of the bedawee is the sleeves 
of his kamise, or white cotton shirt, for these are long and very 
wide, coming to a point at the end, and extending quite a 
yard beyond the length of his arm, whereas the sleeves of the 
fellahh's kamise are much shorter and not so wide. When 
the bedawee is engaged in work or preparing for war, he ties 


A House of Hair" 25 

these long sleeves together in a knot, and throws them over 
his head on his neck out of the way, which leaves his arms 
bare and free. Hence the graphic allusion : 

"Jehovah hath made bare His holy arm,'" (Is. Hi. 10.) 

that is, stands prepared to fight for and to protect His people. 

The huge, gipsy-like cooking-pot is heated by "a fire of 
thorns," or else by a fuel of dried camel's or cow's dung. 
Sometimes it is hung by a chain below an iron tripod stand, 
and sometimes it is stood over a rude improvised hearth of 
several large stones. In this pot, meat — when it can be had — is 
stewed to excess, as it is always eaten directly it is killed, and is 
consequently very tough. Thus, in the desert, food consists very 
largely of broths or soups, the "pottage" of our Bible. The 
Arabs are very skilful in the production of these soups, for which 
they employ not only garden vegetables, but also a great variety 
of wild plants. Jacob, we are told, "boiled a boiling," that is, 
" made a fine, or elaborate, boiling; " and, from its being called 
"that red, red [boiling]," there is little doubt that it was the 
delicious Eastern preparation, so rich in food value, red lentil 
soup, for it would seem to be referred to afterwards as " pottage 
of lentils," representing to the famished and reckless Esau as 
substantial and tempting a dish as a joint of roast beef would 
be to us ! The usual fare of the bedaween is ayesh, flour made 
into little balls of paste, floating in sour camel's or goat's milk. 

It is deeply interesting to notice in this connection that 
David, in Psalm xlii., which bears every mark of being written 
during his desert life in the wilderness of Judea, says, 

" My tears have been my food [lehhem] day and night.'' (Ps. xlii. 3.) 

To an English ear this metaphor sounds strained and 
unnatural. "Tears," it would seem to us, might indeed have 
been called by David his drink ; but that they should be said 
to be his "bread," or "food," seems at first sight very 

26 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

inappropriate. But it will be seen that the liquid nature of so 
much bedaween food makes the figure very accurate and 

The nature of the bedaween tent throws a flood of light 
on one of the gravest difficulties of the Old Testament, the 
killing of Sisera by Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Even 
sound Evangelical commentators have not hesitated to denounce 
this act as one of cruel treachery and deliberate murder ; yet 
the inspired prophetess by whom God gave deliverance to 
Israel highly eulogises Jael's conduct! Among the nomad 
tribes of Palestine and the surrounding deserts the rites of 
hospitality are peculiarly sacred and inviolable. Base beyond 
description would that wretch be accounted who, having 
entertained a stranger in " a house of hair," afterwards took 
his life when he laid down to rest. The whole incident has 
given painful disquietude to countless tender consciences ; 
but viewed in the light of Palestine life, a perfectly natural 
and satisfactory explanation at once appears. Sisera, flying 
for his life, after his sudden and crushing defeat, comes to 
Heber's tent at a time when, no doubt, all the men were away 
seeking spoil after the battle. The Canaanite commander-in- 
chief, armed and desperate, was seeking a place of safe conceal- 
ment. He could not have found that in the men's part 
of the tent, for, as we have seen, it is always open on one side. 
Only in the women's part could he hope to hide. But, accord- 
ing to the unwritten, inexorable laws of bedaween life, the 
entering of the women's part of the tent by a man of another 
family is punishable with death. Instances are recorded 
amongst the Arabs of a defeated warrior having hidden himself 
in the apartments of women ; but such a heinous breach of 
Eastern etiquette has in each case been followed by the sentence 
of death. It is true that she came out and invited him to enter, 
playing in this the part of a loose woman, instead of strongly 
resenting the outrage ; but, dealing with a cruel, unscrupulous, 

"A House of Hair" 27 

and now desperate man, who evidently showed from the first 
his determination to escape in this way, it was in all probability 
the only manner in which she could have saved her life. This 
woman, who was the daughter, wife, and possibly the mother 
of warriors, would, at a glance have taken in the situation, and 
realised her peril. It was no case of ordinary hospitality, as 
commentators have supposed, for first this would not be offered 
by a woman who was alone to a man ; and, secondly, being 
offered, would with desert dwellers make the life of the guest 
inviolable by every principle of honour and justice. The 
insult and wrong done to Jael from the point of view of a 
bedaween woman was such that, in order to avenge her honour, 
her husband, or her brother, or some other male relative, would 
have been bound by the unwritten but inflexible code of 
Eastern law to take Sisera's life. Thrown into a position of 
great and sudden peril, in inviting him to enter her part of the 
tent — which he had evidently intended to do whether she had 
asked him or not — she had only acted under the pressure of 
fear and necessity and from the first with the sole intent of de- 
fending her life and reputation by tactics which every Arab 
woman would consider lawful — especially in a time of war. 
Thus the brave, outraged woman simply became the executioner 
of a sentence which in any case some male member of her 
family would certainly have been bound to carry out. 

" Water he asked — milk she gave, 
In a lordly dish she brought near butter-milk [Miemah]" (Jud. v. 25.) 

This hheniah is the Arabic leben, that is, goat's milk made 
artificially sour with the butter left in it, the highly medicinal 
sleep-inducing preparation of milk which is always drunk 
by bedaween, served, as I have had it served to me, in a 
wooden bowl as big as a small hand-basin, truly "a lordly 
dish." This leben is the preparation of lactic acid, of which 
we have recently heard so much as contributing to the splendid 

28 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

health and extraordinary longevity of the Bulgarians. On 
one occasion, when suffering from much sleeplessness and 
nervous excitement, brought on by great fatigue, I partook 
of it very freely at a bedaween camp on the north of the plain 
of Sharon. So strong was its action that, after resting for 
half-an-hour, I could only with the greatest difficulty continue 
my journey on horseback, in consequence of the overpowering 
drowsiness that came over me. Indeed, my first impression 
was that the draught must have been drugged, so sudden and 
irresistible were its narcotic effects. Jael well knew that such 
a draught of leben would prove a potent soporific, and all 
the more so in the case of one unaccustomed to the beverage. 
Having thus pitted a woman's cunning against a man's strength 
and violence, as soon as he was fast asleep, she lost not a 
moment in punishing his crime with her own hands, thus 
being the executioner of a just sentence, which, as we have 
seen, would otherwise have certainly been carried out by 
the male members of her family. She took a yathaid, and 
with the hammer, or huge wooden mallet, she drove it 
through his temples, as she had so often driven such a tent- 
peg into the hard ground ; for well she knew that he deserved 
to die a hundred deaths for the awful crimes that he and 
his brutal soldiery had committed in their occupation of 
" Jehovah's Land," in consequence of which they had made 
every highway impassable. 

Thus, judged by the laws of desert life, she proved 
herself a veritable heroine. Now we can understand how 
the inspired prophetess Deborah, by whom the Lord gave 
deliverance to Israel, in her grand ode, prefaces a recital of 
this incident with words of the highest commendation : — 

" Blessed above women be Jael, 
The wife of Heber the Kenite, 
Blessed let her be above women in the tent." (Jud. v. 24.) 

Shepherd and 

Shepherd and Sheepfold 

THERE are no pastures in Palestine as we understand 
them. Throughout the East grass is never sown or 
cultivated, and is never made into hay. Where we 
use hay, they feed with teben, "crushed straw," and give 
barley to horses instead of oats. It was just the same 
in Bible times, for we read that Solomon's officers pro- 
vided his stables with "barley and crushed straw [teben] 
for the horses." The grazing grounds of the Orient are 
either the common, unenclosed arable lands round the 
village, the sadeh, at such time as they lie fallow, or the 
deserts which occur in and around all these lands. The 
rich, spontaneous growth of the sadehs affords good feed, 
and for a portion of the year the flocks can be kept 
on this supply. For two months in the spring they can 
be turned out upon those fields, which, being kept for 
summer crops, are not sown till late in April; and from 
July to October they can be transferred to the stubble lands 
from which the winter crop has been reaped. But these 
are not, strictly speaking, the proper pastures of Bible 

Such pastures invariably consist of lonely, unfenced, 
uncultivated desert hills and plains where no dwelling is 
to be seen, save the low black tents of the bedaween. They 
are no mere sand wastes, being covered in spring with a 
glorious wild growth — a sight of much brightness and beauty 
during February, March, and April — with here and there a 
shrub or stunted tree and a good deal of woody, persistent 


33 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

growth for the rest of the year, during which they present 
a very barren appearance. 

The usual word in Hebrew for "desert" or "wilderness" 
is midbar, from dabar, " he drove," because they are the 
places where the flocks and herds are "driven" for pastur- 
age. This answers to the prairie-like "sheep runs" of our 
Australian bush. It is there called "a run," because there 
are no wild beasts or organised bands of sheep stealers, 
but "a drive" in Syrian deserts, because, owing to wild beasts 
and wilder men, the bedaween and brigands, the shepherd 
has to "drive" them, be constantly with them for pro- 
tection, and drive them home again to the shelter of their 
fold. Hence we read in the Old Testament of the "pastures 
of the desert," that is, "desert pastures." (Ps. lxv. 12; 
Isa. xxxii. 14; Joel i. 18-20.) 

Our picture shows a part of such a "pasture of the 
desert," seen in the hot season, with a Palestine shepherd 
in the foreground. Observe his shaivet or shevet, the oak 
club, rendered "rod" in our Versions. The dangers of 
wilderness pastures have always called for this weapon 
of offence. It is borne by the Eastern shepherd as well as 
a staff or crook. 

In allusion to the purpose of protection for which this 
formidable weapon is employed, the prophet Micah, calling 
upon Jehovah to come to the deliverance of His people 
Israel, cries, 

"Shepherd Thy people with Thy club, 
The flock of Thine inheritance." (Mic. vii. 14.) 

There is another very interesting allusion to the use of 
this club, where we read, 

"I will bring you out from the peoples, 
And assemble you from the lands 
In which ye have been scattered. . . . 

Shepherd and Sheepfold 33 

And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, . . . 

And I will cause you to pass under the club [shaivef] : . . . 

And clear out from you the rebels, 

And those transgressing against Me : 

From the land of their sojournings I will bring them out, 

And they shall not come into the land of Israel." (Ezek. xx. 34-38.) 

This metaphor of " passing under the club " receives 
light from Leviticus xxvii. 32: "All the tithe of the herd 
and of the flock — all that passes by under the club — the 
tenth is holy to Jehovah." It was the way of taking the 
tithe of sheep and cattle. As Jewish writers have recorded, 
it was usual, when the tenth was being taken, to bring all 
the animals together and place them in a pen, or in the 
sheepfold, such a fold as is shown in our picture. 
They were then allowed of themselves to pass out one by 
one through the narrow entrance, where the shepherd stood 
with his club, the rounded head of which was dipped in a 
bowl of colouring matter. As the beasts came out — thus 
themselves arranging the tithe with perfect impartiality — 
he let the rounded head of the club fall on every tenth, 
marking it with a spot of colour ; and those thus branded 
were taken for the purpose of slaughter as sacrifices. 
Here we have in Ezekiel the gathering together of Israel 
out of the countries where they are now scattered, and at 
the same time the purging out from among them of the 
rebels, both strikingly set forth by this illustration of 
gathering together a flock to take out of it the tithe. 
It should be borne in mind that sheep and goats in the 
East are kept almost entirely for their milk and wool, 
and are never killed to be eaten except in the form of 

Thus " passing under the club " implies the two purposes 
for which Israel are yet to be restored — first, a final and 
purifying judgment; and secondly, their conversion as a 


34 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

nation, and their complete and glorious restoration to 
Emmanuel's land. For the passage closes with the promise — 

" For in My holy mountain, 
In the mountain of the height of Israel, saith Jehovah, 
There shall all the house of Israel serve Me, 
All of it in the land — there I accept them. . . . 
With sweet fragrance I will accept you, . . . 
And I will be sanctified in you 
Before the eyes of the nations." (Ezek. xx. 40, 41.) 

The shepherd is seen holding in his hand a sling, such 
as he makes himself. These slings serve very much the 
purpose of sheep-dogs with us, in rounding up the sheep 
and keeping them together. The shepherds are very skil- 
ful in the use of these weapons, and when they see one of 
the flock straying too far they cast a stone, often to an 
immense distance, but with so sure an aim as not to hit 
the sheep, but to let the missile strike the ground near 
enough to thoroughly frighten the animal and so bring it back. 
As these slings are in constant use, shepherds of all men 
are most expert slingers. When, therefore, David the shep- 
herd boy, who was evidently proficient above most in the 
use of this truly formidable weapon, advanced so boldly 
upon Goliath he was justified in the hope of victory ; for 
at close quarters such a stone received on the forehead 
would stun the strongest man. As to accuracy of aim, we 
read, that of Benjamin, "there were seven hundred 
chosen men, left-handed, every one could sling stones at 
a hair's breadth and not miss," which, though, no doubt, 
the rhetorical trope of hyperbole, or exaggeration, as 
common in Holy Scripture as it is in the speech of the 
East to-day, denotes a degree of marksmanship, at a short 
range, equal to that of an expert rifleman. (Jud. xx. 16.) 

Slingers formed a regular corps in Eastern armies, 
specially in the army of Israel. We read, in the attack on 

Shepherd and Sheepfold 35 

Moab, that at the city of Kir-hareseth " the slingers went 
about it, and smote it." King Uzziah prepared for his 
"army of fighting men" amongst shields, spears, helmets, 
bows, etc., "stones for slinging," which are mentioned as 
distinct from the "great stones" he had for catapults. 
These sling stones are always "smooth stones" taken from 
the rough torrent beds, where they have been ground 
smooth, and kept in the shepherd's "scrip," or "small 
leather bag." A regiment of slingers could always be 
got together from these stalwart shepherds, who, from the 
nature of their calling, are some of the strongest, bravest, 
and most self-reliant of men. 

The short, reversible sheepskin jacket the shepherd is 
wearing, called in Arabic furweh, is peculiar to the fellahheen. 
This poor, rude garment — sometimes made from the skin 
of a goat — though, like all other clothing of men and 
women in the East, picturesque in its way, is one of their 
roughest features of dress, and a mark of poor working 
men. It seems to be for this reason alluded to by the 
Apostle Paul in his letter to the Hebrews — the Palestinian 
Jews — when, telling of the trials of believers under the Old 
Covenant, men "of whom the world was not worthy," he 
says, of the poverty and distress to which persecution 
brought them, "they went about in sheepskins, in goat- 
skins, being destitute, afflicted, evil-entreated." (Heb. xi. 37.) 

The sheepfold is here shown, a simple structure, the 
enclosure wall of which is a jedar, a wall peculiar to the 
Palestine mountains, formed of rough, shapeless stones, the 
waste of the quarries, laid skilfully together, the large 
pieces outside and the small within. A jedar is about 
three feet wide at the base, tapering up to about one foot 
wide at the top, and from four to eight feet high. No 
mortar of any kind is used, the jagged, irregular stones 
being laid so as to fit closely and firmly together. No 

36 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

foundation is dug, the jedar resting on the smoothed sur- 
face of the ground. This is undoubtedly the gadair or 
geder of the Hebrew Bible, for the hard "g" of Hebrew 
always becomes the soft "j" in similar Arabic words. The 
feminine form gedairah is generally used for "folds" for 
sheep, just as the Arabic form jedarah is to-day; showing 
that in ancient times, as now, they consisted largely of these 
loose, unmortared walls. (Numb, xxxii. 16; 1 Sam. xxiv. 3.) 

They have no door, the one entrance being a narrow 
opening in the wall. Here, when guarding the sheep at 
night, or admitting or giving them egress by day, the 
shepherd takes his place, and, quite blocking up the en- 
trance, is himself virtually the door; and this, surely, is 
the allusion of our Lord when, speaking of the fold of 
His sheep, His flock the Church, He says, "Amen, amen, 
I say to you — I am the door of the sheep ... I am 
the door : through Me if anyone come in he shall be 
saved, and he shall come in and go out, and find pasture." 

Aqueducts are, and always must have been, very common 
and familiar objects in the Holy Land, where the scarcity 
of springs and perennial streams, the entire absence of rain 
for some seven continuous months of cloudless heat all day, 
and the universal and extensive practice of horticulture 
render them so necessary. Ruined remains of such aqueducts 
are everywhere to be met with throughout the country, 
some of a most costly and elaborate kind. It is therefore 
almost certain, first, that the inspired writers must have 
alluded to these precious water channels ; and secondly, 
that in the primitive, rich, precise Hebrew of the Old 
Testament there must be a special technical term for them. 
Now there is a word which our translators have clearly 
misunderstood, apheek, from the root aphak, "restrained," 
and which occurs in the names of places, as Aphaik, near 
Bethhoron, and the feminine form Aphaikah, near Hebron, 

Shepherd and Sheepfold 37 

spelt in our versions Aphek and Aphekah respectively. 
Though the word only occurs nineteen times, it is rendered 
by no less than seven different terms in our Authorised 
Version, and the one used most frequently (ten times), " river," 
cannot possibly be its true sense. But the meaning " aque- 
duct " gives the true rendering in every case, the pipe, or 
channel, that constrains or forces a stream of water to flow 
in any required direction ; though apheek appears in some 
cases to be applied by way of metaphor to the natural 
subterranean channels which supply springs, and the narrow, 
rocky, aqueduct-like beds of some mountain streams. 

Thus in our Authorised Version it is said of behemoth — 
the "hippopotamus" — 

"His bones are strong pieces of brass," (Job xl. 18.) 

which has no appropriateness of any kind, whilst there is 
no conceivable reason for rendering apheek "strong pieces." 
But the boldness and beauty of the hyperbolic figure appears 
at once if we translate it properly, " His bones are aqueducts 
of copper," hardened copper, the strongest metal of the 
ancients, answering to our steel. 

This explanation gives new and specially forceful 
meaning to the opening words of Psalm xlii. These are 
literally : — 

" Like the hind pants [or ' brays '] over the aqueducts {apheekaiy- 
So pants my soul after Thee, O God." 

In both our Versions it is rendered ' panteth after the 
water brooks." But a deer would not "pant" or "bray' 
for water if it were standing over an open stream. The 
whole force of the simile is lost in our English Bible. 
This psalm bears marks of being written at the season when 
David was compelled to fly from Jerusalem by Absalom's 

38 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

rebellion. Away on the mountains of Gilead, yet in sight 
of the sacred region of Zion, which he could look down 
upon but could not reach, he is lamenting the inaccessibility 
of those spiritual privileges, precious as " living waters," which 
he had enjoyed at the Tabernacle at Gibeon, only five miles 
away from his home in the Holy City, as well as at that 
Tabernacle he had made for the Ark in Jerusalem itself, at 
which he had arranged continual services. ''He thirsts after 
God, and longs to taste again the joy of His house, like 
the parched and weary hind, who comes to a covered 
channel, conveying the living water of some far-off spring 
across the intervening desert. She scents the precious 
current in its bed of adamantine cement, even hears its 
rippling flow close beneath her feet, or perchance sees the 
living water through one of the narrow air-holes; and, as 
she realises the inaccessibility of the draught, she lifts up 
her head in her anguish and ' brays over the aqueducts.' 
This scene is shown in the centre of the picture. 

Leopards in 

"The Pride of Jordan " 

•'» i ■'•»» n 

Leopards in " The Pride of Jordan ' 

THE Jordan valley, a great volcanic cleft, is one of 
the most remarkable features of the Holy Land. It 
is the continuation southward of the seismic rent that 
in remote ages clove the huge mountain mass to the north 
into the parallel ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. 
Throughout its entire length it lies below the level of the 
Mediterranean, and at its southern end reaches a depth of 
some 1,300 feet below sea level — by far the deepest spot on 
earth. The Jordan takes its name from the rapid fall of the 
valley, for the word means "the descender," "the rushing 
river," and, though the length from its rise at the foot of 
Anti-Lebanon to its fall into the Dead Sea is only 103^ 
miles, in its wandering course it is some 250 miles long. 
Shut in and bounded by lofty hills, the ranges of Judea, 
Benjamin, Ephraim, and Galilee on the west, and the still 
loftier mountains of Moab, Gilead, and Bashan on the east, 
unreached by the cool, moisture-laden breezes from the 
Mediterranean Sea, it is a very hot region, more especially 
towards the south, where it ends in a rudely circular plain 
at the north of the Dead Sea, measuring eight miles from 
north to south and more than fourteen miles across, with 
Jordan in the centre, called in Scripture the kikkar, or "round 
plain," and the " round plain [kikkar] of Jordan." Close 
under the hills on the west of this "round plain" is the 
site of Jericho, with Gilgal two miles nearer the Jordan ; 
while at the east of it are the ruined sites, recently identified, 
of the five " cities of the round plain [kikkar]" Sodom, 


42 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela, afterwards called Zoar, 
standing on rising ground at the foot of the mountains of 

The valley of the Jordan is called by the Arabs the ghor. 
In the Hebrew Bible the same region is called 'arabah, though 
all the Scripture allusions to it refer to the southern part, 
the kikkar, or its immediate neighbourhood. 'Arabah means 
" dry plain or valley," a good description of this deep, hot, 
close, arid vale, in the southern end of which rain rarely 
falls, though the greater part of it was formerly a scene of 
the utmost fertility owing to copious irrigation from springs 
at the foot of the mountains on either side, and from aqueducts 
supplying water from the upper reaches of the river. When 
Lot looked upon it from a high hill between Bethel and Hai, 
he " beheld all the round plain [kikkar] of Jordan, that it 
was irrigated [literally, ' drinking '] all of it, before Jehovah 
destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, like a splendid garden 
[literally, 'a garden of Jehovah'], like the land of Egypt, in 
thy going to Zoar," that is, up to the very foot of the 
mountains of Moab. (Gen. xiii. 10.) 

Down the centre of the valley runs a trench, a valley 
within the valley, about thirty feet to fifty feet below the 
rest, with a breadth varying from a quarter of a mile to a 
mile, which is a true wilderness, absolutely waste and dry 
during the hot season, as are the white marl cliffs which 
bound it on both sides ; and there is every appearance of 
its always having been the same. This explains Josephus' 
statement — so much at variance with what he tells us of the 
'arabah at large — that the Jordan flows ''through a desert." 
This deep, barren trench is called by the Arabs the zor, or 
"throat," that is, "the throat of the river," to distinguish it 
from the rest of the valley, the ghor, which rises on each 
side, in most parts some thirty feet above it. 

Down the centre of this lower part of the valley the 

Leopards in "The Pride of Jordan " 43 

Jordan flows, very swiftly, with endless snake-like windings, 
quite a small, insignificant, turbid, coffee-coloured stream, 
for some nine months of the year. Well might Naaman, a 
proud, unconverted man, when told by the prophet to go 
and wash in Jordan, cry of those wide, pure, crystal streams 
that still irrigate the plains of his Syrian home, " Are not 
Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all 
the waters of Israel?" But Jordan is considerably wider 
when, about April, the snows of Anti-Lebanon begin to 
melt, and pour a flood down the river for some two or three 
months, for to this day " Jordan overflows all its banks all 
the time of harvest." But even then it is only about 
seventy yards wide. (2 Kings v. 12; Josh. iii. 15, iv. 18; 
1 Chron. xii. 15.) 

Partly in consequence of this overflow, and partly owing 
to the great heat — it is sometimes 100° Fahr. in the shade 
here as early as April — on each side of the river there rises 
a rich sub-tropical jungle, tangled thickets of trees, shrubs, 
and creepers, conspicuous amongst them the elegant Jordan 
reed (Arundo donax), from twelve to fifteen feet high, 
gracefully waving its immense panicle of plume-like white 
blossom, "so slender and yielding that it will lie perfectly 
flat under a gust of wind, and immediately resume its upright 
position" — "the reed shaken by the wind," which our Lord 
implies was a striking feature of natural beauty on the banks 
of the Jordan, flowing through its "wilderness," where John 
was baptising. Itself a lonely jungle, and situated in the 
midst of a desert, it is naturally the lair of wild beasts, and 
so it must have been in ancient times. 

This annually irrigated rich wild growth, one of the most 
luxuriantly verdant sights to be met with in Western Palestine, 
the beauty of which is greatly enhanced by contrast with the 
wilderness tract that surrounds it, was well called in Bible 
times "the pride of Jordan." The Hebrew word "pride" 

44 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

here, ga-on, occurs some forty-six times in the Old Testa- 
ment, and is translated in every instance in our Authorised 
Version with the signification of "pride." Thus our trans- 
lators have rendered it in Zechariah : — 

"The pride [ga-on] of Jordan is spoiled." (Zech. xi. 3.) 

Speaking of the Chaldean invasion of Edom, Jeremiah 
says — 

" Behold, he shall come like a lion from the pride of 
Jordan." (Jer. xlix. 19.) 

Lions, it is true, no longer infest the jungle on the banks 
of Jordan, but to this day bears, leopards, hyenas, wolves, 
jackals, and wild boars find comparatively undisturbed lairs 
here, and they could hardly secure a warmer or more suitable 
dwelling-place. Some have supposed, owing to the mis- 
translation of our Authorised Version, "the swelling of 
Jordan," that the allusion is to the lion's being driven out 
at harvest time, when the river overflows its banks. But this 
is a misapprehension, for at such time, even in the highest 
floods, miles of this dense cover are not under water, and it 
is not a fact that any wild beasts are necessarily driven out 
into the country at that season. 

It will be seen the explanation I give is in complete 
accordance with the obvious meaning of the same bold figure, 
employed by Jeremiah in another well-known passage : — 

" For thou hast run with the footmen, 
And they have wearied thee. 
Then how wilt thou fret thyself with horses ? 
And in a land of peace where thou hast trusted 
[They have wearied thee]. 
Then how wilt thou do in the pride of Jordan ? " (Jer. xii. 5.) 

Here "the land of peace," that is, "the peaceful land," 
the safe place of human habitation is finely contrasted with 

Leopards in "The Pride of Jordan" 45 

"the pride [ga-on] of Jordan," the tangled, pathless jungle 
along its banks, the haunt of wild beasts ! 

Our picture shows "the pride of Jordan" seen at even- 
tide on a short reach of the river. In the foreground are 
two leopards stalking a roebuck and a gazelle that have 
come down to drink at a watering-place. The leopard, or 
panther, the namar or nemar of the Hebrew Bible, the nimr 
of the Arabs, is a very powerful beast of prey, "but little 
smaller than the Asiatic lioness, and occupying the same 
place in the economy of nature that the Bengal tiger does 
in India." The names of places, such as Beth-Nimrah, 
" house of the leopard," near the Jordan, probably at 
the stream now called by the Arabs Nahr - Nimreem, 
" river of the leopards," and the " mountains of the 
leopards," show that this fierce feline was formerly common 
in the Holy Land. " Mountains of the leopards " is very sug- 
gestive of this animal's constant habit of spending the day 
sunning itself on the crags of lonely, inaccessible cliffs on the 
summits of mountains; unlike the lion, which keeps always 
on the low, hot plains. At night the leopard stealthily 
descends, and hunts in the valleys and plains for its prey, 
travelling in this way sometimes as far as thirty miles in a 

It can be recognised at a glance by its yellow spots 
ringed with black, which gave it its Hebrew name, namar, 
"spotted"; for, as the prophet cries — 

"Does an Ethiopian change his skin, or a leopard his 
spots ? " (Jer. xiii. 23.) 

It is taken as a type of fierceness in that picture of the 
millennium, where we read, "The leopard shall lie down 
with the kid." Nor could any animal be fitter for the 
purpose of portraying savage strength than the leopard ; 
for every other wild beast seems to fear it, and the night 

46 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

when a leopard is about is ominously still, for no other 
' beast of the open land [sadeh] " moves or cries ! Fortunately 
it only remains in one spot three nights, and then seeks 
other hunting-grounds ; and darkness in the desert is again 
noisy, to the immense relief of shepherd and sheep, who 
know only too well why the wild boar has ceased to tramp, 
the hyena to scream, the wolf to bay, and the jackal to 
yell, preferring to fast rather than run the risk of falling a 
prey to the dreaded nimr. 

The cunning and perseverance of this animal cause 
it to be feared as much as its strength and fierceness. 
Crouched like a huge cat, it will lie motionless for hours, 
waiting at the entering in of a village or at some watering- 
place, until its prey comes within striking distance, when, 
with one huge bound from an almost incredible distance, 
in a flash— for the leap of a leopard is swifter than that of 
any other mammal — it is on the back of its victim, and is 
strangling it by burying its fangs in its throat. 

In allusion to this dangerous habit of waiting for its 
quarry, the prophet cries — 

" A leopard shall watch over their cities." (Jer. v. 6.) 

While the Most High Himself declares of His sinful people 
Israel, in words of awful significance — 

" Like a leopard by the way I look for [them]." (Hos. xiii. 7.) 

Its swiftness also forms a Scriptural figure, for in Hab. i. 8 
it is said of the efficient mounts of the Chaldean cavalry, " Their 
horses are swifter than leopards." For this reason a winged 
leopard is chosen, in the vision of successive Gentile dominions, 
to image Alexander the Great and the Greek empire, because, 
swift as a panther's spring upon its prey, the Grecian com- 
mander conquered the world in thirteen years, a feat of arms 
unparalleled in history. (Dan. vii. 6.) 

" Through the Valley 
of the 
Shadow of Death" 

"Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death " 

WE have seen that the principal pastures of Palestine 
are what the Scriptures call "the pastures of the 
wilderness," that is, " desert pastures." These dry, 
barren spots, peculiar to tropical and sub-tropical climates, 
are unlike any regions in North-Western lands — lonely, un- 
fenced, barren, uncultivated rocky solitudes, where shepherd 
and sheep are exposed to the double danger of wild beasts 
and wilder men. To understand the numerous Scriptural 
references to pastoral life, the perils to which it exposes, 
and the courage for which it calls, the strange character- 
istics of Oriental pasturage must be fully realised. Indeed, 
in the matter of pasture we have one of the strongest 
of all the countless contrasts between the East and the 
West ; for whereas, with us, pastures are for the most 
part carefully cultivated, fenced round, separated into small 
fields, situated in safe and settled districts, without any 
of the ground left bare, evergreen, always in the neigh- 
bourhood of water, and apart from all danger — the deserts, 
which form the ordinary pastoral ground of Bible lands, 
are in all these respects the very reverse. I have shown 
at length in Palestine Explored what a flood of light this 
throws on the otherwise obscure and inexplicable Scriptural 
allusions to shepherd life. "These wildernesses abound, 
for the most part, in caves and hiding-places, which render 
them the more insecure, since such of these spots as can 
be easily defended are still, as in the days of Saul, from time 
to time the resorts of bands of reckless and desperate outlaws 

E 49 

50 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

answering to the brigands of Southern Europe. No dwell- 
ing is to be seen there for a distance of many square miles, 
save the low black tents of almost equally lawless bedaween 
Arabs, 'whose hand is against every man,' that is, who 
are a powerful organised confederacy of robbers. No culti- 
vation is attempted, and the bold shepherd alone, of all 
dwellers in town or village, frequents the spot. 

"Such an ordinary sheep run, or rather, as we have seen 
it is in the Hebrew Bible, 'sheep drive,' the wilderness 
of Judea, extends for fifteen miles from Jerusalem to 
Jericho, and stretches away south for some forty miles, 
with an average breadth of ten to twelve miles; and, though 
traversed at the north end by an important highway, was, 
and still is, a very dangerous place. The outlaws and the 
nomad and semi-nomad bedaween Arabs, who wander, like 
David and his exile band wandered, over these wild wilder- 
ness pasture lands of Eastern Judea, are seldom so scrupulous 
as the followers of the future king of Israel. When the son 
of Jesse sent to Nabal, who fed his sheep at Carmel, the 
modern Kurmul, some eight miles south of Hebron, on 
the border of this same Judean wilderness, to ask for the 
customary backsheesh, or 'present,' at shearing time, he 
did so on the following grounds: — 'Thy shepherds who were 
with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing 
to them, all the days they were in Carmel.' Inmates of 
some other similar camps would not have been so forbear- 
ing, and the occasional presence of such wanderers in all 
the principal pastures explains the stalwart shepherd's need 
for a weapon of defence. 

"Wild animals or 'beasts of the field' constitute 
perhaps a still greater danger. These to this day infest all 
the pastures. The screech of the hyena and the yell of 
the jackal till quite recently were heard around the very 
walls of Jerusalem. Fierce Syrian bears and powerful 

"The Valley of the Shadow of Death" 51 

leopards, including the dreaded cheetah, or hunting leopard, 
prowl in the less frequented parts. The lion is now never 
met with west of the Jordan, but was once the terror of 
the deserts of the land of Israel. . . . Huge birds of prey, 
with the formidable lammergeyer (the ossifrage) at their 
head, still hover above the deserts, out of sight at ordinary 
times, but ready with lightning speed to swoop down on 
the faint amongst the flock; or even to do desperate 
battle on the edge of some precipice with the shepherd him- 
self. Hence the obvious need for his being armed; and, 
as we have seen, the principal weapon which he carries, 
indeed often the only one beside a sling, is the club, or 
bludgeon." l 

This club, the shaivet or shevet of the Hebrew Bible, 
the naboot of the modern Arabs, is a very formidable weapon 
in the hand of a stalwart shepherd. It is generally made 
of oak from the woods of Bashan or Gilead. It is about 
two feet long, with a huge rounded head, into which are 
driven a number of heavy iron nails. It is easily attached 
to the shepherd's leather belt, or girdle, by a noose of 
cord passed through a small hole in the end by which it 
is grasped. It hangs in this way from the girdle during 
the day, when he carries the staff or crook, called by the 
Arabs assayah, in his hand ; for this staff he employs 
on behalf of the sheep, pointing them the way with 
it, using it to rescue them from danger, to rule the 
stragglers into order, and at times to administer needed 
chastisement to the disobedient. But at night, thrusting 
the staff down his back under his kamise, or cotton shirt, 
and taking the club from his girdle and twisting its cord 
noose, like a sword knot, twice round his wrist, so that if 
it is struck out of his hand in a fight it will not be dropped, 
he stands prepared to do battle with bedaween or bear, and 

1 Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 259-62. 

52 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

ready as a "good shepherd" to "lay down his life for the 
sheep." (John x. 11, 15, 17.) 

It is in the light of this environment that we must 
read all Bible allusions to shepherd and sheep life, and 
notably the Twenty-third Psalm, in which David, the whilom 
shepherd boy, so vividly describes Jehovah's care, under 
the allegory of a shepherd's watch over his flock. It has 
been hitherto supposed that the allegory ends at the fourth 
verse, but surely this is a mistake. In the words, "Thou 
preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies," 
"table" stands, by an unmistakable and familiar metonymy, 
for a "meal," and shows how food is found for the flock 
though surrounded by formidable desert foes. In the same 
way, "Thou anointest my head with oil" alludes to the 
medicinal remedy which each night the good shepherd, 
before folding the sheep, applies to any wounds or bruises 
they may have received during the day; "head," che part, 
being put by synecdoche for "the whole body"; just as 
the words "My cup runneth over" refer to the shepherd 
giving, at the same time, a good long drink out of a large 
wooden bowl, which he has by his side ready for the 
occasion at this evening hour, to those of his charge who 
are faint and weary. 

Our picture illustrates Psalm xxiii. 4: — 

" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, 
Thy club [shaivet] and Thy staff [mish'cneth], they comfort me." 

The word for "valley" here is gay, the Arabic jye, a 
"deep ravine" or "gorge-like glen." The wilderness of 
Judea abounds with such ravines. "The gay of the shadow 
of death" is the genitive of character for "the very dark 
ravine or gorge." Sometimes these rocky glens have for 
their sides precipitous cliffs, rising on either hand to a 

"The Valley of the Shadow of Death" 53 

height of 800 feet, whilst their bottoms are in some parts 
scarce three yards wide, and even in daylight are dark and 
gloomy. Woe to the strayed sheep caught by wild beasts 
alone in such a perilous place ! 

The figure here of "the very dark ravine" does not, 
as so many commentators have supposed, specially signify 
the dissolution of the body, although the words may be 
thus applied. It would appear more properly to mean any 
time of dire temptation or persecution, any season of gloom, 
or imminent danger, and rather applies to life than death. 
' The figure— a very familiar one to the dweller amid the 
fastnesses of Judea, and one which must have stamped 
itself with indelible force upon the mind of David, the 
whole of whose earlier life was passed among such sur- 
roundings—is that of a dark, rocky defile, where the path 
narrows, the cliffs almost meet towering overhead, and 
where the trembling sheep, lost upon the mountains, is 
peculiarly exposed to the assaults of enemies. Places of 
this kind occur repeatedly in the gorges with which the 
wilderness pastures abound, and the well-known going 
down from Jerusalem to Jericho affords several striking 
examples. Huge hyenas, deadly foes to the flock, which 
hunt at night in small packs, some going before and some 
waiting behind, easily entrap the sheep in these gloomy 
gullies. David, therefore, when declaring his fearlessness, 
what time he was to go 'through the very dark ravine,' is, 
by a bold and beautiful metaphor, expressing his con- 
fidence in Jehovah's protection in every time of danger." 1 
The "club and staff" of the shepherd are very beau- 
tiful figures of the twofold Divine care: "The staff" or 
"crook" for "the sheep of His pasture," "the club" for 
their foes— " the club" His might, "the staff" His mercy, 
both alike necessary for our preservation in this wilderness 

1 Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 265, 266. 

54 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

world. Thus pregnant now with meaning are those words 
of the shepherd psalm, "Thy club and Thy staff, they 
comfort me." 

In view of this aspect of Eastern pastoral life it is very 
important to notice that the words ra ah in the Old Testa- 
ment, and poimainein in the New, should not be rendered 
"feed," but, rather, "shepherd," that is, "do all that is 
involved in the office of an Eastern shepherd," which is 
mainly the protection of the sheep. Thus, in Micah, 

" Shepherd [ra'ah] Thy people with Thy club [shaivef], 
The flock of Thine heritage," (Mic. vii. 14.) 

means drive out their foes and bring them back to their 
land, as we learn from the following verses. So the proper 
reading of Psalm ii. 9 is — 

"Thou shalt shepherd them with a club of iron [shaivet-barzel]." 

This is true not only of the Good Shepherd, the Lord 
Jesus, but also of all ministers of the Gospel, all pastors 
of the Church, in every age. This was the force of the 
Master's words, " Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me ? . . . 
Shepherd My sheep." This was the significance of Paul's 
warning cry to the Ephesian elders: "Take heed unto 
yourselves, and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit 
has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God 
[or 'the Lord'], which He purchased with His own blood. 
For I know this, that after my departing grievous wolves 
shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock." Here the 
"shepherding" chiefly refers to defending the flock coura- 
geously against their spiritual foes. We need pastors now 
of David's spirit. "Thy servant," he tells Saul, "has been 
a shepherd to his father among the sheep, and the lion came 
and the bear, and took a sheep out the flock, and I went out 
after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth." 

Interior of a 
Fellahheen House- 
Early Morning in 

Interior of a Fellahheen House — Early Morning 

in Winter 

THE position of the stable part of the one-roomed village 
house is here shown in the foreground. The black 
goat, the grey ass, and the little red ox have been driven 
by stress of weather into this lower, entrance part, for it is now 
winter. That this is the season may be further seen by the 
wood fire that is burning on the stone slab, the ordinary 
Palestine village fireplace, in the centre of the raised dais, 
where the family dwell. The rude stone steps leading from 
the stable floor to the dais are here shown, and the two mangers, 
one on each side, where the animals feed. These mangers 
are structures roughly built of wood, or, as in this case, 
hollowed in stone, where the crushed straw and barley that 
form the usual fodder are seen lying. 

There can be little doubt that we have before us here just 
such a lowly bed as that wherein the infant Saviour was laid. 
We read that Mary "brought forth her son — the firstborn; 
and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in 
a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." 
" Inn " here must be either literal, and mean the whole 
inn, or else be the trope of synecdoche — the whole put for 
the part — that is, in this case, the whole of the inn put for 
that part of it where travellers lodge, for it has two distinct 
parts. The inn of the East, the modern khan, or caravan- 
seray (literally "caravan-house"), has a large open court- 
yard with empty rooms around it on two or three sides, 
where for a very small sum paid to the khangee, or khan 

5$ Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

keeper, the traveller is allowed to lodge, bringing with him 
his own bed, table, stool, fireplace, fuel, food, etc., and camp- 
ing in the bare apartment. The animals of his caravan — not 
only those ridden by himself, his family, and his servants, but 
also the sumpter beasts, often a large number, that carry his 
tents, travelling furniture, baggage of all kinds, and, if he is a 
merchant, his bales- of goods — are tethered in the open central 
courtyard, or in some covered place set apart for this purpose, 
where the grooms and muleteers sleep. If all the rooms were 
full of travellers, this stable part would be crowded with strange 
animals. As there are no geldings in the East, many of these 
horses, mules, asses, and camels would be stallions, and the 
fights, stampedes, and confusion that would be constantly going 
on under these circumstances would render it an impossible 
place for Mary, or for the birth or cradling of her child. 

Therefore, in all probability, the word "inn" must be taken 
literally, and the meaning be that the whole of the khan was 
full. There is no hint of a separate stable in a cave, as tradition 
teaches ; and when the wise men from the East arrived they 
found "the young child with Mary His mother," we are 
expressly told, in a " house " at Bethlehem. Unable to find 
accommodation in any part of the inn, and with all the Bethle- 
hem houses thronged, they were thankful to find such poor 
shelter as the stable part of one of them could afford ! Here 
doubtless the Saviour — thus from His earliest years on earth 
in deep disguise — was born, on a night towards the end of 
September, 8 b.c, and laid for comfort on the crushed straw 
in one of such mangers as are shown in our picture. But 
what must it have meant for a child to be born in such a 
place! No wonder it is "Luke, the beloved "' physician," 
who tells of this ! What a volume of meaning there is now 
in those simple words, which indicate how poor and afflictive 
from His first moments on earth were the surroundings of 
the incarnate Son of God : "She brought forth her son — the 

Interior of a Fellahheen House 59 

firstborn — and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid 
Him in a manger." (Luke ii. 7.) 

When a child is born in the East it is washed in salted 
water and then swaddled. There is no doubt that the child 
Jesus would be treated in this respect like any other infant. 
Ezekiel strikingly alludes to this universal custom when, 
speaking of the kingdom of Judah, under the name of 
Jerusalem, and upbraiding it with the lack of proper spiritual 
nurture, under the figure of an infant neglected from its birth, 
he says, "Thou hast not been salted at all, and thou hast not 
been swaddled at all." (Ezek. xvi. 4.) 

The swaddling clothes of Palestine to this day consist of 
bands of white cotton or linen cloth about four to five inches 
wide and some five or six yards long. The child's legs are 
laid together, and his arms by his side, and these bands are 
then wound round and round his naked body until it presents 
somewhat the appearance of a little mummy. A band is 
even passed under the chin and round the top of the head, 
by which the child is unconsciously taught the important 
lesson of keeping its mouth closed and of breathing through 
its nostrils. In our picture the swaddled babe is seen in the 
hammock-like cradle hung on the wall, so often used in these 
village houses. Imagination can hardly picture a lowlier 
state, and one of greater weakness and helplessness than 
such a swaddled fellahheen child laid in the rude manger of 
such a humble abode ! 

The fellahhah in our picture is seen sitting "behind the 
mill," the attitude taken in the grinding of corn. In towns 
this grinding of wheat is the office of the humblest and 
youngest female slave or hired servant of the establishment. 
The utter humiliation of the "virgin daughter of Babylon" is 
imaged by the command — 

" Sit on the ground, no throne, 
Take the millstones and grind meal," (Isa. xlvii. 2.) 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

the humblest of all occupations — the work of an Eastern 
kitchen-maid. In describing Israel's deep humiliation and 
woe, Jeremiah declares — 

"They have taken the young men to grind," (Lam. v. 13.) 

not only putting them to the disgrace, so keenly felt in the 
East, of shoghal niswan, "women's work," but of the most 
menial form of it. 

We read of the last and most awful of the ten plagues 
of Egypt, that all the firstborn in the land should die, "from 
the firstborn of Pharaoh that sits upon his throne, even unto 
the firstborn of the female slave that is behind the mill 
[that is, 'that grinds the corn']." Unreal as it would be to us 
in the North-West to speak of the humblest servant girl in 
a house losing a firstborn son, nothing could be more 
natural and minutely accurate in Bible lands. No women 
there are ever allowed to go out to service until they are 
married. All female servants in the East are wives or widows. 

At or before dawn every morning the ringing, unmis- 
takable sound of this grinding is heard coming from every 
house, as the fellahhah prepares her family's daily bread ; 
and this preparation, including grinding, kneading the un- 
leavened whole wheatmeal, and baking it in her small, 
primitive oven, takes in all about half an hour. When "the 
voice [or 'sound'] of the grinding is low," it is a sign that 
the family is impoverished, for bread is their principal food. 
But to say that "the voice [or 'sound'] of the millstones is 
destroyed," or "shall be heard no more at all," is to fore- 
tell banishment or destruction. (Jer. xxv. 10; Rev. xviii. 22.) 

The long, pendent breasts of the women in all classes 
of life in Palestine is a very noticeable feature, the more so as, 
though they are careful to hide their faces, they are careless 
about exposing their persons. This is no doubt largely accounted 
for by the great length of time they suckle their children. 

Interior of a Fellahheen House 61 

Infants with them are seldom, if ever, weaned under two 
years of age. It is no extraordinary thing for a mother to 
continue to give a " man-child " the breast till he is four or 
five years old. Indeed, boys of seven may sometimes be 
seen fed in this way. Especially if a boy appears one of 
great promise, or is a firstborn, or seems likely to be an 
only child, a mother nurses him herself, or by means of a 
wet-nurse or foster-mother, until he is four or five. 

How unreal to me in youth — nay, how impossible — 
was the story of Hannah's leaving little Samuel, as soon as he 
was weaned, with the high priest at the Tabernacle in Shiloh, 
that he might at once engage in some childish capacity in 
the service of Jehovah. With us a child is weaned at twelve 
months of age, sometimes at nine months, in a state of un- 
conscious and helpless infancy, and what could be done by 
the priests with a child at such an age when left by his 
mother ? But now I know that, in the case of this re- 
markable child, it is certain that Hannah would have nursed 
him, either by herself or by foster-mothers, for four or five 
years, possibly until he was seven; the more so because, as 
soon as he was weaned, according to her vow, she must 
endure the awful anguish to an Eastern mother of parting 
for ever with her firstborn son. How intelligible now are 
the words she addressed to her husband Elkanah : " [I will 
not go up] until the child be weaned, and then I will bring 
him, that he may appear before Jehovah, and there abide 
for ever." In confirmation of this view it is important to 
notice that it is said of little Samuel, as soon as he was 
handed over to the charge of the high priest, " and he 
served Jehovah there." (1 Sam. i. 22-28; ii. 11.) 

Doubtless, when the infant Moses was so providentially 
restored to his mother, she kept him at the breast, much as 
Hannah kept Samuel, if only that she might have her child 
under her own care as long as possible. (Ex. ii. 7-10.) 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

So, too, in the case of Isaac, there can be little doubt 
that Sarah would herself have nursed him, or have caused 
him to be nursed, till he was five years of age. We are 
told that "Abraham made a great feast the day that Isaac 
was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar mocking," 
not, as we might suppose, an unconscious infant, but a far 
more serious matter, a child of an age to feel and resent 
insult, and to make a passionate appeal to his mother. 
It is almost certain that this was so, for the prophetic dates 
require it. The 400 years of affliction and bondage fore- 
told as coming upon Abraham's seed start from the time that 
Isaac was five years old. Of this Dr. Grattan Guinness says : 
" To this day it is a matter of conjecture what the event was 
that marked that year, though there is little doubt that it was 
the casting out of the bondwoman and her son on the 
occasion of the mocking of the heir of promise by the natural 
seed. This mocking or ' persecuting ' (Gal. iv. 29) is the first 
affliction of Abraham's seed of which we have any record, 
and its result demonstrated that it was in Isaac the seed was 
to be called." 

What new force and meaning this lends to the words of 
Isaiah : — 

" Whom does He teach knowledge ? 
And whom does He make to understand instruction ? 
Those weaned from milk, 
Those withdrawn from breasts " ; (Isa. xxviii. 9.) 

and to those which our blessed Lord quotes (Ps. viii. 2), as 
given in the Septuagint : — 

" Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected 
praise." (Matt. xxi. 16.) 

For Eastern children can talk and understand what they are 
told, and can pray and praise, in almost all instances, before 
they are weaned. 

Interior of a Fellahheen House 63 

The fire burning on the hearthstone in the centre of the 
room is fed with wood. The only provision made for carrying 
away the smoke is a few holes over the door of the house, 
and the casements of the tiny windows, generally unglazed, 
but in winter closed with rude wooden shutters to keep out 
the cold. Green wood is constantly burnt on this primitive 
hearth, and the dense smoke in passing out of the apartment 
strikes the nostrils, throat, and eyes of the occupants in a 
truly torturing fashion. Hence the force of the Bible allusions 
to the terrible annoyance caused by smoke, only to be fully 
realised by one who, like myself, as the guest of a fellahh, 
has had to sit coughing, choking, and with stinging and 
weeping eyes beside such a fire. 

Viewed in this light, how expressive of the irritation 
and vexation occasioned to a master by an idle and worthless 
servant is that truly Oriental proverb : — 

" As smoke to the eyes, 
So is the sluggard to them that send him." (Prov. x. 26.) 

Fortunately these fires, save in the coldest weather, are 
not continually burning. In the severest part of the winter, 
when the family can afford the fuel, the fire is kept up all 
day, and must prove a most painful nuisance. It would seem 
that this is the allusion of the Most High, when, speaking 
of the hatefulness of His people's rebellious, idolatrous, self- 
righteous conduct, He declares — 

" These are a smoke in My nose, 
A fire that burns all day ! " (Isa. lxv. 5.) 

Near the fire is seen the clay oven of these village houses, 
used principally to bake their bread. This oven, about 
three feet high and three feet in diameter at the bottom, 
tapering to two feet in diameter at its rounded top, is much 
the same as those we see in ancient Egyptian sculptures. 

64 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Very often it is sunk in the middle of the raised part of the 
room, so that its ball-like head, with a large aperture towards 
one side, rises just a little above the floor. In this case, in 
winter, after the bread is baked, the opening into the oven 
is closed with a stone slab, and the low round table, about 
three feet in diameter and eight or nine inches high, is 
set over it, so that the family can sit on the floor round it 
at their meals, and be kept warm. The fuel used in this 
case is always a low, wild growth round the village, "the 
grass" of the Bible, a term used to denote "wild growth 
generally," including all the exceedingly varied and beautiful 
wild flowers of Palestine, just as it is by the people of the 
Holy Land to-day. Ask any fellahh the name of a wild 
flower, and, with a contemptuous shrug of his shoulders, he 
will say, " Oh, sir, it's grass." When our Lord is speaking 
of ' the lilies of the field," the crimson anemones (Anemone 
coronaria and Asiaticus ranunculus), whose tint and texture, 
He tells us, are finer than those of Solomon's richest robe, we 
catch this familiar note of contempt which He knew would 
be in the mind of His fellahheen hearers, for of this glorious 
flower He cries, " If God so clothe the grass of the field, 
which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall 
He not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?" 
(Matt. vi. 28-30.) 

Interior of a 
Fellahheen House 
by Night 

Interior of a Fellahheen House by Night 

A FAMILY of fellahheen are here pictured in their one- 
roomed dwelling at night. The small slipper lamp on 
the lampstand gives its faint light, literally, "to all that 
are in the house." All night long this lamp burns. The 
poorest of the people have it. None dare lie down in dark- 
ness. Among the diligent domestic duties of the "virtuous 
woman," the housewife, trusted and treasured by her hus- 
band, we read : — 

"Her lamp is not put out in the night." (Prov. xxxi. 18.) 

Many years ago my wife and myself had a Syrian lady 
with us on a visit to England for some six months. Though 
well educated, she had spent her days till then entirely in 
Palestine, and had seen nothing of any but Oriental lands, 
so that the complicated, highly civilised life of England was 
all new to her ; for, in the time of which I speak, the year 
1876, there was not a road or a wheeled vehicle in all 
Southern Palestine, and her home was in Jerusalem. To- 
wards the end of her visit, during which she had seen so 
many novel and, to her, wonderful things, when she was 
staying with us in a country house in Sussex, which stood in 
the midst of a small forest, we asked what had struck her 
as strangest in all the life we had shown her in England. 
She at once replied, "Two things. One, that I, a woman, can 
walk alone in safety in these woods ; and the other, your 
dreadful practice of lying down to sleep in the dark!" 

Yes, to all Easterns it is a thing of horror to be in a 


68 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

darkened house. No matter how poor the people may be, 
or how feeble the flame they can afford, or how often their 
tiny lamp needs replenishing with oil— amongst the poor, 
castor oil ! — they must have a light all night. 

Many causes contribute to this. The glorious sunlight 
of Syria makes darkness specially abhorrent. The words of 
the royal preacher in Ecclesiastes well express an Eastern's 
passionate love of the sunshine, in which he basks, most of 
the day, for some eight or nine months of every year: — 

" Truly the light is sweet, 
Ancfit is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun." (Eccles. xi. 7.) 

On the other hand, darkness is everywhere in Scripture a 
picture of trouble, terror, and misery. There came upon 
Abraham in vision, revealing the cruel bondage of his seed in 
Egypt, "a horror of great darkness," truly, to an Eastern, 
a portent of heavy calamity. (Gen. xv. 12.) 

" Sit silent, and go in darkness, 
O daughter of the Chaldeans," (Isa. xlvii. 5.) 

" Let their way be dark," (Ps. xxxv. 6.) 

" That night, let thick-darkness take it," (Job iii. 6.) 

are terrible maledictions. 

" All joy is dark," (Isa. xxiv. 11.) 

" He hath set darkness on my paths," (Job xix. 8.) 

" He has caused me to dwell in dark places," (Lam. iii. 6.) 

" I make my bed in darkness," (Job xvii. 13.) 

are the saddest of lamentations. 

"Ye have waited for light, 
And He hath made a shadow-of-death, 
And He hath appointed thick-darkness," (Jer. xiii. 16.) 

A Fellahheen House by Night 69 

" All the lights of the light of heaven 
I will make black over thee, 
And I will give darkness upon thy land, 
A solemn declaration of the Lord Jehovah," (Ezek. xxxii. 8.) 

are threatenings of awful judgment. 

Night is always a time of danger from ordinary robbers, 
when "in the dark they dig [through] houses"; from beda- 
ween raids ; and from hostile neighbours, to an extent that, in 
the well-governed countries of the North-West, it is difficult to 
realise. How blessed to Easterns is that assurance of the psalmist 
to him who dwells in the secret place of the Most High — 

" Thou shalt not be afraid of fear [pahhad] by night." (Ps. xci. 5.) 

This word "fear" (pahhad) bears the meaning of "fear in 
the form of concealed danger and sudden alarm." It is 
obviously connected with pahh, "a snare," or "trap," and 
it specially occurs with other words meaning snares and traps 
used in hunting, as in Israel's threatened judgment: — 

"Fear [pahhad], and pit, and snare 
Are against thee, inhabitant of the land. . . . 
He who flees from the noise of the fear [pahhad] 
Shall fall into the pit." (Isa. xxiv. 17, 18.) 

Here it is used technically of the sudden shouts and alarms by 
which the drivers force hunted animals into the pits and traps 
prepared to catch them. 

But another and perhaps chief reason why they must have 
a light all night is their dread of evil spirits, which they be- 
lieve are thus driven away. Easterns are, and always have been, 
given over to many superstitions. Chief among these is their 
belief in ginn, or genii, in the singular ginnee. The ginn are 
supposed to have been created before man, and to occupy an 
intermediate position between angels and men. They are 
said to have been created out of fire, and to have the power of 

7° Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

appearing as men, brute beasts, and monsters, and of becoming 
invisible at will. They eat, drink, and procreate their species, 
this last sometimes in conjunction with human beings, and they 
are subject to death, though they often live to be many hundreds 
of years old. "They roam over the earth, but their own land is 
in a range of mountains called Kaf which surround the world. 
Some are Mohammedans and some infidels, and these last are 
supposed to be sheytans, 'devils,' having Iblees, Satan himself, 
as their chief. Of both kinds, the good and the bad, the 
people are greatly afraid. They inhabit rivers, ruined houses, 
wells, baths, ovens, and even the latrinae, and they pervade 
the solid matter of the earth as well as the firmament up to the 
lowest heavens, where, by listening, they obtain the knowledge of 
many mysteries and the secrets of magic. If a man pours water 
on the ground, or draws it from a well, or lights a fire, etc., he 
says destoor, 'permission,' thus craving the pardon of any ginnee 
he may be accidentally disturbing. In the deserts, a whirlwind 
at times raises sand and dust in the form of an enormous 
pillar like a waterspout, often 700 feet high, called zobaah, 
which rushes across the ground ; and the Arabs believe that 
it is caused by the flight of a ginnee. To drive away the zobaah 
when it seems to be coming upon them, they exclaim ' Iron, 
thou unlucky!' for the ginn are believed to stand in awe of 
that metal!" The Muslim believe that during Ramadan, the 
month when they fast all day and feast at night, the ginn are shut 
up in prison. So, on the eve of the festival which follows, 
women sprinkle salt upon the floors of their rooms to prevent 
one of the liberated ginn entering. 

They also believe in effects, the ghosts of dead people, 
and are greatly afraid of them. Another class of monsters 
of whom they stand in awe are ghouls, a special class of ginn, 
who assume the forms of men and of animals, and sometimes 
take monstrous shapes. They are terribly strong and cunning, 
and devour every man, woman, and child whom they meet. 

A Fellahheen House by Night 7 1 

They are supposed to specially haunt cemeteries, and to feed 
upon dead bodies. A spot thought to be ghoul-haunted is 
carefully avoided, and if it has to be approached, the shivering 
visitant utters the most courteous salutations to appease the 
dreaded spirit. They believe, too, in the kerad — as its name 
implies, a monkey-like goblin, who is very mischievous, and 
can inflict much harm. They also believe that the spirits of 
dead saints (welee) and prophets (nebee) haunt their respective 
tombs and the adjacent districts, and they are greatly afraid 
of them, especially of some who are esteemed hot-tempered 
and despotic. Hence their dread of darkness. There is reason 
to conclude, from many Scriptural allusions, and from the 
changeless nature of the East, that the mass of the people 
held very similar superstitions in Bible times. 

It was one of Israel's signal mercies that in the desert 

"Led them all night by a light of fire." (Ps. lxxiii. 14.) 

Nehemiah would understand the immense comfort of this, 
quite apart from the protection and guidance it afforded, as 
no North-Westerner could, w T hen in his prayer he says : "Thou 
in Thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness. 
The pillar of cloud departed not from them by day to lead them, 
nor the pillar of fire by night to show them light." (Neh. ix. 19.) 
The darkness of the desert at night would have been awful 
to them without that miraculous light, the more so as they 
would there have lacked oil, their only illuminant, and also 
wood to make fires around their camp. 

We have not only the thought of light as a figure of 
true knowledge and instruction, but also as one of great 
comfort and cheer, in the words of the Apostle Peter, when 
he says of "the prophetic word" (i.e. "special prophecy," 
that part of Holy Scripture so many neglect and despise 
and treat as hopelessly obscure), that it is "a lamp shining in 

72 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

a dark place, till the day dawn and the day-star rises." 
(2 Pet. i. 19.) 

Because they have a lamp all night, the possession of a 
light came to signify the continuance of life ; for so long as 
a man was living he kept a lamp burning. So Job declares 
of the hypocrite's destruction : — 

" Surely the light of the wicked shall be put out . . . 
And "his lamp over him shall go out." (Job xviii. 5, 6.) 

And again : — 

" How often is the lamp of the wicked put out, 
And their destruction comes upon them." (Job xxi. 17.) 

The wise man, speaking of retributive justice, says: — 

" The light of the righteous shall rejoice ; 
And the lamp of the wicked shall be put out." (Prov. xiii. 9.) 

Again he declares : — 

" He who makes light [inekallail] of his father and mother, 
His lamp shall be put out in the pupil-of-the-eye [be-eeshoan] of 
darkness," (Prov. xx. 20.) 

that is, " in the very centre of darkness," its deepest and 
darkest part; because "the pupil" is the centre of the eye. 
So, in Proverbs, "the young man lacking understanding" is 
said to seek the harlot's house "in the pupil-of-the-eye [be- 
eeshoan] of night and darkness," that is, "in the middle of a 
dark night." (Prov. vii. 9.) 

If in the East a lamp is out at night, it must be because 
the house is empty and the occupant gone. The final touch 
to the picture of the threatened devastation of the kingdom 
of Judah and the surrounding nations at the hands of the 
king of Babylon is — 

" I will cause to perish from them . . . 
The light of the lamp." (Jer. xxv. 10.) 

A Fellahheen House by Night 73 

In the judgment pronounced against the symbolical Babylon 
in the Revelation we read: "The light of a lamp shall 
shine no more at all in thee." (Rev. xviii. 23.) 

In the same way, to give anyone a lamp in a place means 
to establish his house and line there. Judah was not destroyed 
in the evil days of Jehoram, because Jehovah had promised 
David "to give him a lamp for his sons always." Of wicked 
Abijam it is said, that "for David's sake has Jehovah his God 
given to him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, 
and to establish Jerusalem." (2 Kings viii. 19; 1 Kings xv. 4.) 

This explains an otherwise very difficult passage. When 
Ahijah the Shilonite announced to Jeroboam that God in- 
tended to wrest ten tribes from the hand of Solomon, that is, 
from the hand of Solomon's son and successor, Rehoboam, 
and give them to his rule, he added, in the name of 
Jehovah, "And to his [Solomon's] son will I give one 
tribe [the tribe of Benjamin, which remained steadfast 
to the kingdom of Judah], that David My servant may 
have a lamp always [literally, 'all the days'] before Me in 
Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself to put 
My name there." Here "David" is put, by the trope of 
metonymy, for "his descendants." It must be borne in mind 
that the whole of the city of Jerusalem and all its northern 
suburbs stood in the territory of Benjamin. This has been 
shown to demonstration by the work in connection with the 
ordnance survey of Western Palestine. The north border of 
Judah is said to have run along the Valley of the Son of 
Hinnom to the south of Jerusalem ; and we are expressly 
told that the Holy City was in the territory of the tribe of 
Benjamin, in the words, "The children of Benjamin did not 
drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem, but the 
Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem." 
Had the tribe of Benjamin joined the other ten in their 
revolt against the throne of Rehoboam, the royal city could 

74 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

not have remained, as God had promised it should, the 
dwelling-place of the kings of David's line, that is, in the 
highly figurative language of Bible lands, "Their lamp in 
the Holy City would have been put out." 

It will be seen that in the cold weather all the inmates 
of the house sleep with their feet towards the fire in the 
centre. It will also be observed that they do not undress on 
lying down to sleep, or wear any night-clothes. Throughout 
the East, in all classes of life where their ancient customs 
continue, they sleep by night in the clothes they w T ear by 
day : all they do on retiring to rest is to unloose their girdles 
and remove their shoes. Their bedclothes, in the case of 
the fellahheen, the villagers, consist of their abba, or abaiyeh, 
their goat's or camel's hair or rough worsted cloak, the himation 
or himatismos of the New Testament. This himation is the 
salmah, or "cloak," of the Old Testament, which is spoken of 
as serving for bedclothing. "We read in the law, " If thou 
at all take thy neighbour's cloak [salmah] to pledge, thou shalt 
return it to nim at the going down of the sun ; for it alone 
is his covering, it is his outer-covering [simlah] for [his] skin ; 
wherein shall he sleep [literally, 'lie down']?" (Ex. xxii. 
26; Deut. xxiv. 12, 13, 17.) 

The fact that they do not undress on lying down to 
sleep, together with that of their having a light all night, will 
explain how, in these one-roomed houses, travellers can be 
given, as I have been, a night's lodging with the family with- 
out any shock to modesty. 

It also explains such allusions as that where Saul cries 
of David, " Bring him up to me in the bed." David in 
bed would have the clothes he wore by day, and could be 
brought into Saul's presence just as well as if he were up. 
(1 Sam. xix. 15.) 

The bed in these houses consists at best of a thin, very 
lightly stuffed, flexible mattress, that can be easily rolled up 

A Fellahheen House by Night 75 

and put in a closet by day, and brought out and laid on 
the floor at night, without any kind of bedstead. On these 
thin, light beds the sick are still carried about, as in the case 
of the paralytic man in the Gospel narrative ; and nothing 
would be easier or more natural than to take up such a 
bed rolled into a small bundle and carry it to one's house, 
according to our Lord's command: "Rise, and take up thy 
bed, and go away to thy house." (Matt. ix. 6; Mark ii. 11; 
John v. 8.) 

Looking at this sleeping scene, we can realise the force 
of the illustration by which Messiah bids His people be His 
witnesses, letting their light so shine that men may see their 
good works and glorify their Heavenly Father. "Is the lamp 
brought to be put under the bushel [measure], or under the 
bed, and not to be set on a lampstand?" (Mark iv. 25; 
Matt. v. 14, 15; Luke viii. 16.) 

To us in the North- West it seems a frivolous and quite 
inadequate excuse given in the parable of the importunate 
friend who went at midnight to borrow three loaves, ' My 
children are with me in bed, I cannot rise and give thee." 
With us, the children, sleeping in their own bedroom, would 
in no way be disturbed by their father getting up to assist 
his friend. But by a glance at our picture, which gives the 
true scene to which our Lord alludes, it will be realised that 
to rise, find the bread, and open the door would necessitate 
the awakening and painful disturbance of the slumbers of the 
whole family. It must, too, sound strange to the English reader 
that three loaves are asked for to provide a meal for his friend, 
for with us one would be amply sufficient. But this is 
minutely accurate in Palestine; for, as we have seen, the 
"loaf" of these villagers, an unleavened whole wheatmeal, 
toasted cake, is no larger than a thick pancake about eight 
inches in diameter, and it would take quite two of these to 
make a meal for a hungry man ! To which it should be 

76 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

added that it is essential to the prodigality of Oriental hospi- 
tality to place before a guest more than he can eat, especially 
in the case of bread. Sometimes in the Holy Land at a 
meal I have had a dozen of such loaves piled up before 
me ! In this way Joseph sent from his own table to his 
brother Benjamin five times as much food as the sufficient 
meal set before each of his other brothers, though he knew 
Benjamin could not possibly consume it. Just as it was in 
Joseph's palace some 3,000 years ago, so it is, in proportion, 
in the humblest houses of the East to-day, in the case of a 
loved and honoured guest, for nothing changes in the change- 
less East. 

The ass seen here in the stable part of the one-roomed 
house is the kind common throughout Bible lands. It is 
essentially the animal of the poor, on account of its low price 
— a common but serviceable donkey, away from the coast, 
may sometimes be bought for 12s., or even less — its hardi- 
hood, the economy of its keep, and its powers of work and 
endurance, specially great in the warm lands of the Orient, 
for, less capable of bearing cold than the horse, the ass 
naturally degenerates as it approaches the north. If a she- 
ass is kept, as it often is, for work and riding, it also sup- 
plies its owner with an abundance of delicious and wholesome 
milk. Hence the appropriateness of Job's graphic description 
of the merciless oppressors of the poor and weak: — 

" They drive away the ass of the fatherless." (Job xxiv. 3.) 

This agrees with Moses' indignant declaration in the 
case of the rebellious Dathan and Abiram, "I have not taken 
one ass from them." It is also in keeping with the tenth 
commandment's putting the ass last, as of least value in the 
enumerated possessions of the mass of men, and yet including 
it with the ox as one of the two chattels that were common 
to all. (Numb. xvi. 15. See also 1 Sam. xii. 3; Ex. xx. 17.) 

Evening Meal 

among the Fellahheen 

Evening Meal among the Fellahheen 

THERE are only two formal meals a day partaken of 
amongst the great mass of the people in Bible lands — 
breakfast at an early hour in the morning and dinner, 
which, amongst all classes, is at asha, "sundown." This 
applies to rich and poor, and to all three conditions of 
Oriental life, the bedaween, the fellahheen, and the belladeen. 
In exact agreement with the present custom, we find that 
only two meals are mentioned in the New Testament: ariston, 
"breakfast," and deipnon, "dinner." When our risen Lord 
met His fisher apostles in the early morning on the shore 
of the Lake of Galilee, where He had cooked fish for them 
at a " fire of charcoal," and provided bread, we read, Jesus 
said unto them, "Come and breakfast [aristesate]." Thus, too, 
Christ in exhorting His followers to entertain the poor and 
the suffering rather than the rich and prosperous, says, "When 
thou makest a breakfast [ariston] or a dinner [deipnon], call 
not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsmen, nor rich 
neighbours. . . . But when thou makest a feast, bid the 
poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind, and thou shalt 
be blessed ; because they have not [the means] to recompense 
thee ; for thou shall be recompensed at the resurrection of 
the just." It is important to understand that this does not 
in any way forbid our entertaining our well-to-do relatives, 
friends, or acquaintances, but tells us, rather, to entertain the 
poor. This is a well-known grammatical figure of speech 
by which a Hebrew comparison is formed. In ever so many 
places the negative "not" followed by "but" does not 



Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

deny at all; and "not this but that" stands for "rather that 
than this." Thus God says to Samuel, of the children of 
Israel, 'They rejected not thee, but they rejected Me," 
which must mean, "They rejected Me rather than thee." For 
they did very definitely reject Samuel, on the ground that he 
was old and his sons were not walking in his ways. When 
Joseph magnanimously said, to comfort his brothers, "It was 
not you that sent me here, but God," his words could only 
mean, "It was rather God than you." "Work not for the 
food that perishes, but for the food which abides unto ever- 
lasting life," does not at all forbid us to work for bodily 
food, but bids us, rather, work for spiritual sustenance. 
This figure occurs some fifty times in the New Testament, 
and it is most important to understand it. 

The usual entertainment meal is dinner about sunset, 
and this was the same in our Lord's day. Sometimes kings, 
noblemen, and people of great wealth entertain guests at a 
late breakfast at midday, answering to our luncheon ; but 
this is, and always has been, of rare occurrence, and confined 
to the rich and great. Thus Joseph, when Grand Vizier of 
Egypt, entertained his brethren at that hour, for he said to 
his steward, " Make ready, for the men shall eat with me at 
noon." (Gen. xliii. 16.) 

In our Lord's parable it was ' ' a king " who, making a marriage 
feast for his son, sent forth his servants to say to those who were 
bidden, " I have prepared my breakfast [ariston], my fat oxen 
[literally, ' my oxen and fadings,' the grammatical figure of 
hendiadys] are killed, and all things are ready." In the East 
meat is never hung, but cooked as soon as it is killed, whilst 
the carcass is still warm; hence the force of " my fat oxen are 
killed, and all things are ready." It is probable that the Pharisee 
who asked Christ to "breakfast with him " was a very wealthy 
person. (Matt. xxii. 1-5; Luke xi. 37.) 

The actual meal of the Passover — for the lamb was to 

Evening Meal among the Fellahheen 81 

be slain about 3 p.m., "between the two evenings," that is, 
between the "first evening," when at noon the sun begins to 
decline from the zenith, and the " second evening," when it 
sets — allowing for the preparation of the carcass, and its slow 
roasting whole, could not have taken place till about sundown, 
the time of the usual entertainment meal. This meal is generally 
called "supper" in our Versions, but it answers in all respects 
to our "dinner," and, as we have seen, in the primitive 
society of the East is partaken of by all classes at the same 
evening hour. 

In Bible times the diners, if belladeen, or townspeople, 
sat as they do now, with their feet under them on the couches, 
deewans, that run round three sides of the leewan, or reception 
room ; or else, as so many did in our Lord's day, when the 
luxurious Greek and Roman customs were adopted, laid at 
length on wide dining couches arranged on three sides of a 
table in the centre of the apartment. But amongst the fellahheen, 
or villagers, far simpler manners prevailed then, as they do 
now ; and these peasants sat with their feet tucked under them 
on the floor around a small table about three feet in diameter 
and some eight inches high. This is the scene in our picture 
which the artist has so vividly presented ; and this there seems 
every reason to believe was the simple way in which the Master, 
Who lived on earth from His cradle to His cross the life of 
a fellahh, must have partaken of the last Passover with His 
fellahheen disciples, and have instituted the Lord's Supper or 
" dinner." It was not in the principal reception room in the 
house at Jerusalem where hospitality was offered them, but in 
"an upper room," furnished, no doubt, in the simple way in 
which such apartments still are in Palestine towns and villages. 
Simple piety required then, as it requires so inexorably now, 
that, where there is any choice, the primitive ancient customs 
should at all points be preserved. To say that our blessed 
Lord and His apostles were fellahheen, and no one who has 

82 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

studied the subject doubts this now, is to say they would take 
this meal alone in that upper room in the way in which they 
took all their meals, and more particularly their dinner or 
principal formal meal. In this, as in so much else, if we would 
picture the scenes described as taking place in connection with 
the mass of the people in Bible story, we must come down to 
the primitive manners of modern fellahheen life. It would be 
difficult to realise a scene more simple, and more touching 
and beautiful in its simplicity, than that of the institution of the 
Lord's Supper as it must actually have taken place! 

The universal bread of the fellahheen is, as we have seen, 
a pancake-like loaf of toasted whole wheatmeal or barley, 
sometimes of both mixed, about half an inch thick and some 
nine inches in diameter. When Jesus said to His disciples, 
"Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and 
Sadducees," these simple fellahheen not unnaturally took Him 
to mean the loaves prepared with leaven to be met with in 
the houses of rich townsmen. (Matt. xvi. 6.) 

Bread in the East is never cut, for it is thought abso- 
lutely wicked to put a knife to it. It is always broken into 
pieces with the fingers. In keeping with this the Bible 
always speaks of bread being "broken." We read in 
Lamentations : — 

" Infants ask for bread, 
And no one is breaking [it] to them." (Lam. iv. 4.) 

When our Lord fed the five thousand with five of these thin 
small loaves, we are told that after a blessing He ' broke 
and gave the loaves to His disciples"; and He did the same 
when the four thousand were fed with seven loaves. So at 
the Lord's Supper Jesus "took bread, and blessed, and broke, 
and gave it to His disciples"; and, dining with His two 
disciples at Emmaus, " He took the bread, and blessed, 
and broke, and gave to them." So, in the Acts, we read of 

Evening Meal among the Fellahheen S3 

believers " breaking bread in the several houses," or, as the 
Revisers render it, " at home " ; and the Apostle Paul speaks 
of " the bread which we break." 

Throughout the East, amongst bedaween, fellahheen, and 
belladeen, the people, rich and poor, high and low, both carve 
and eat with their ringers, and never use knives or forks. 
They dip their hands into the common dish, and hence the 
necessity for the custom alluded to in Scripture of washing 
their hands both at the commencement and close of a meal. 
This dipping the hand into the dish was referred to when 
Boaz said to Ruth, "Dip thy morsel in the vinegar"; and 
when Christ said at the Passover supper, " He that dips his 
hand with Me in the dish, the same will betray Me." Some- 
times among the rich a wooden spoon is provided. But 
it is more usual to break off a small piece of the thin, 
unleavened, pancake-like loaves, which are served in consider- 
able numbers at a meal, and then to make it into a very 
effective, improvised three-cornered spoon, which is dipped 
in the dish to take up some delicacy or a portion of the 
broth. The spoon once used is then eaten, so as not to be 
dipped again in the common dish after it has been raised to the 
mouth. This is no doubt the "sop," or "morsel" (psomion), 
alluded to in the fourth Gospel. "When at a meal your host 
desires to show you special kindness or attention, he will put 
his right hand into the stew, and take some dainty piece of 
meat or fat and put it into your mouth, or else roll up a 
ball of greasy rice and present it to you in the same way. 
This polite attention, when received for the first time from 
fingers very far from clean, makes the act of swallowing, not 
to say relishing, the food so given, one of uncommon diffi- 
culty. But it is a more delicate arrangement when the host 
employs the impromptu three-cornered spoon, or ' sop.' 
For this he always uses his right hand ; for all carving and 
eating must be done with the right hand. To use the left 

84 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

hand in this way is as grave a breach of etiquette as to show 
the sole of the foot, than which few things are considered ruder 
in Eastern society. . . . How life-like and unspeakably 
solemn in this view is the evident reference to a host's act 
of special kindness and condescension in putting a delicate 
morsel in the mouth of a guest, when we read in John's 
Gospel that Jesus said privately to him as he leaned on His 
breast, in answer to his question, ' Lord, who is it [will 
betray Thee] ? ' ' He it is to whom I shall give the sop when 
I have dipped it.' And when He had dipped the sop, He 
gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. This special 
form of the ' sop ' is evidently the little three-cornered bread- 
spoon which is dipped into the dish to bring up a delicate 
morsel — a constant way of conveying such a morsel to the 
mouth of a guest." 1 (John xiii. 23-26.) 

1 Pictured Palestine, 5th edition, pp. 78-83. 

The Lot 
and Line 

The Lot and Line 

THIS is a truly characteristic scene among Palestine 
fellahheen, or " cultivators of the soil," to be witnessed 
at the commencement of the year's farming. To fully 
explain it, a word is necessary as to the peculiar climate 
and land laws of these regions. 

First, as to the climate : there are still the six seasons 
enumerated in Genesis viii. 22, for "during all the days of the 
earth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and the time 
of summer-fruits [kayits] and the bare-season [hhoareph], and day 
and night do not cease." " Seed time " is from the middle of 
February to the end of April, when all the crops are springing, 
including the last sowing of winter crops in February, and all 
the sowing of summer crops towards the end of April ; and 
when "the grass " of the Bible, that is, " wild growth generally," 
including an abundance of the loveliest wild flowers, springs 
up everywhere. "Harvest" comes about the first of May, and 
is all over on the highest hills by about the middle of June. 
"The time of summer-fruits" (kayits) is from the middle of 
June to about the end of August. The season of "heat" is 
September and October, when the drought is at its height, and 
the burning shirocco blows from the south-east, coming up 
across a thousand miles of Arabian desert, and sweeping 
over the country like the blast of a furnace, almost entirely 
deprived of ozone, the life-giving principle in the air, though 
happily it seldom blows for more than three weeks. At the 
beginning of November comes " the bare-time" (hhoareph), 
when the last crops have been gathered in, and the land lies 


ss Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

bare even of all delicate wild growth for the only time in the 
year : this continues till the end of December. From the 
first of January to about the middle of February is the season 
of "cold," when it can be, and often is, piercingly cold in 
comparison with the heat of the greater part of the rest of 
the year. 

It should be further borne in mind that from about the 
first of May to the end of October, and in many years until past 
the middle of November, not a drop of rain falls. Some time 
in November the geshem, or " gushing rain," descends in long 
sub-tropical showers, "the former rain." Until the heavy 
"former rain " comes in " the bare-season " the ground is baked 
to a pottery-like hardness, and all cultivation is impossible ; but 
when it falls the ground can for the first time be ploughed. 
This is the time of the scene in the picture. 

But here a word becomes necessary as to the nature of 
arable lands in Palestine and the adjacent districts, and of the 
primitive laws of land tenure by which they are held. There have 
from ancient times been no farms in the East as we understand 
them. When Joshua assigned the lands to Israel by lot, it 
is certain that they were assigned, not to individuals, but to 
"families," or "clans," settled in village communities, who held 
the arable land, not in severalty, or individual holdings, but in 
common, just as to-day. This I have proved at length in my 
paper entitled Land Tenure in Ancient Times as preserved by the 
Present Village Communities in Palestine ,and the reply to an ob- 
jector, published in the "Transactions" of the Victoria Institute. 
These lands are Crown lands, ard ameer eey eh, literally "land of 
[the] Emir," and the whole village as occupiers have only the 
muzara'a, or "right of sowing," held by them all in common. 
This right they possess in perpetuity, for they are virtually joint 
freeholders in common of all the land belonging to their village 
community, paying a tithe of all the produce to the Turkish 

The Lot and Line 89 

The lands of each village, on an average about 3,000 to 
5,000 acres, lie in one unbroken stretch around the cluster 
of houses, closely built together, where all the population 
of the place, farmers and farm labourers, dwell together for 
safety. No fence, hedge, ditch, or wall separates these lands, 
which appear as one vast, open, undivided piece of ground — 
the sadeh, or " open common-land " of the Hebrew Bible, 
translated "field" in our Versions. They are really divided up 
into a great number of small portions, answering to our 
"fields," marked off by certain rough natural features, known 
to the inhabitants, the hhelkath or hhailek of the Hebrew 
Bible, the hhakel of the modern Palestine Arabs. Indeed, the 
identical Hebrew word hhelkath is preserved on the Philistine 
plain to-day in the Arabic expression, hhalkath-wateh, "a field 
of ground." Thus we read, Jacob bought the hhelkath ha-sadeh, 
"the field of the sadeh, 11 where his camp had been pitched. 
These "fields " each bear a name in Arabic, such as "the field 
of the partridge," "the field of the mother of mice," "the 
field of the well," just as we have in the New Testament "the 
potter's field," called after the tragedy of Judas's death "the 
bloody field," in Syro-Chaldaic, Hhakel dama, the Akeldama 
of the New Testament. (Matt, xxvii. 8; Acts i. 19.) 

These open common-lands are assigned afresh each year 
by lot among all the villagers who possess oxen with which 
to plough, and in quantity proportioned to the number of the 
oxen they possess, for it is mainly oxen that are employed 
for this purpose. As soon, in November, as the first heavy 
winter rain comes to saturate and soften the soil, all the villagers 
assemble in the guest-house, or saha, under the presidency of 
the khateeb, or "scribe," the one man in the village who can 
read and write ; and he takes down the names of all who desire 
to plough, writing against each man's name the number of 
ploughs he intends to work — each "plough" stands for the 
yoke of oxen by which it is drawn. The farmers form them- 

9° Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

selves into parties or groups of ten ploughs each. If they 
muster altogether sixty "ploughs," or "yokes of oxen," they 
divide themselves into six parties of ten ploughs, each party 
choosing a representative or chief. The six elected chiefs 
parcel out the whole open common-land, or sadeh, into six 
equal parts; and then the chiefs cast lots, in the first instance, 
for these six parcels of land. This is done by each of them giving 
some object to the presiding khateeb, such as a stone or small 
knob of wood, which he puts into a bag, generally the " scrip " 
of our Authorised Version, the usual small leather bag of the 
fellahheen, made out of the skin of a kid. The khateeb then asks 
to whom one of the six parcels of land is to belong which he 
names, say, "the field of the fox," so called because the field 
of this name is in that parcel ; and a tiny boy, chosen to draw 
out the object from the bag, puts in his hand, and the ground 
in question is adjudged to the party represented by the chief 
who gave the stone or other object which the child brings out. 
A very young boy is generally chosen to draw the lot, in 
order that there may be no collusion. Our picture shows the 
time and manner in which this takes place. The five other 
parcels are then assigned amongst the other parties in the 
same way. 

When the six divisions of land are thus allotted, they 
are further subdivided, in the case of each of the six parties, 
among the owners of the ten ploughs in a similar way. 
For this purpose each field of each parcel of land is divided 
into ten equal strips, which are now generally, on the mountains, 
measured out roughly with an ox-goad, about eight feet long. 
On the plains they use for this purpose a rope, about twice the 
length of the ox-goad, made of goat's hair, about half an inch 
thick, called hhabaleh, evidently the Hebrew hhevel, " rope," or 
" measuring-line." Each of these strips is called in Arabic a 
maress, from maras, "a rope," or "cable." This measuring 
with the hhevel, or " rope," is shown in the picture. The fields 

The Lot and Line 9* 

are taken separately, and the ten mawaress, or "strips," are 
apportioned among the ten ploughs by lot. 

A deep furrow divides these " strips," or, more commonly, 
a large stone or small heap of stones is placed at each side 
of each end of the strip as a landmark. It is held to be a 
heinous offence amongst this simple, agricultural people to 
remove one of these landmarks. Doubtless, with reference 
to this particular case, the solemn anathema was yearly pro- 
nounced on Mount Ebal against a secret fraud, which could 
be so easily committed, would be so difficult to detect, and 
would be attended with such serious injury to a people who 
lived entirely from the land — " Cursed be he who removeth 
his neighbour's landmark." (Deut. xxvii. 17; Job xxiv. 2.) 

What a vivid light this throws on the Scriptural allusions 
to the "lot" and "line." David, rejoicing in the favour 
of God, cries : — 

" Thou art taking hold of my lot. 
The measuring-lines [or 'ropes,' khavaleem] have fallen to me in 
pleasant [places]." (Ps. xvi. 5, 6.) 

Written as this was among a people wholly given to 
agriculture, it will be seen, in the light of the foregoing 
facts, to contain a far more graphic and familiar figure than 
has been hitherto supposed. The word "taking hold of," 
toameek, the present participle kal of tamak, translated in our 
Versions "maintaining," may possibly be rendered "hold- 
ing up," but its first and commonest sense is "taking 
hold of," and that is clearly the meaning here. David 
is not speaking in these verses of Jehovah's protecting or 
maintaining him in the enjoyment of his prosperity, but of 
His bestowing it upon him. This highly figurative passage 
bears the following interpretation: "Thou art taking hold 
of [' drawing out for me '] my lot [from the bag, and so 
assigning to me the right of ploughing in the richest parcel 

92 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

of land]; the measuring-lines ['the strips marked out by the 
measuring -lines'] have fallen to me in pleasant [places]." 
That is, "My strips have been allotted to me in the fattest 
fields, and the best part of those fields." Under this ex- 
ceedingly familiar and suggestive figure— for did not all Israel 
live by cultivating the land, and witness year by year with 
absorbing interest its redistribution by the lot and the line 
— David records his own rich and highly prosperous lot in life, 
and acknowledges it as the assignment of Him Who took him 
from the lowly calling of a shepherd to make him a king. 

How pointed and full of meaning the figure now be- 
comes in those words of enticement, put by the wise man 
into the lips of sinners — 

"Cast thy lot amongst us," (Prov. i. 14.) 

that is, 'Take part in the joint husbandry of our village"; 
in other words, "Join our community." 
Again it is said : — 

" For Jehovah's field [hhelek] is His people, 
Jacob is the measuring-line [hhevcl] of His inheritance," 
(Deut. xxxii. 9.) 

that is, His allotted mar ess, or "strip of land"; for here, by 
metonymy, the measuring-line stands for that which it measures 
out. In this bold representation the inhabitants of earth are com- 
pared to a sadeh, or " open stretch of common, arable ground," 
consisting of a number of hhalakeem, or "fields," each divided 
out into mawaress, or "strips," of which Israel, His own, 
peculiar, elect nation, is the allotted maress that falls to Jehovah ! 
For other fine instances of this figure, explained in my 
Land Tenure in Ancient Times as preserved by the Present 
Village Communities in Palestine, see 1 Chron. xvi. 18; Ps. 
Ixxviii. 55, cv. 11; Isaiah xxxiv. 13-17; Amos vii. 17; Micah 
ii. 4, 5. 

near Nazareth 

Ploughing near Nazareth 

THE great bulk of Syria, as already explained, is, and ever 
has been, given over to agriculture, carried on by the 
fellahheen, the "ploughmen," or "cultivators," peasant 
farmers and farm labourers, who constitute the masses, the 'am 
ha-arets of the Hebrew Bible, "the people of the land." Yet 
the traveller finds it hard to realise this. He sees no solitary 
farmhouses or cottages. No hedges, stone walls, ditches, or 
fences of any kind appear ; and there are no visible signs 
that a stranger can detect, marking off the arable land into 
farms or fields. It lies, far as the eye can reach, in one 
apparently unbroken stretch, and it often seems as if heaven 
had rained upon it huge stones and boulders. It is probably 
owing to there being no enclosures, and to the richness of 
the crops, and the ease with which they are raised, that it 
has always been lawful in the East to pluck and eat the 
standing corn as you pass by. No doubt many have felt the 
author's youthful difficulty, on reading of the act of our 
Lord's disciples near Capernaum — which in this country 
would be a grave misdemeanour — when they, going "through 
the cornfields, . . . began as they went to pluck the ears of 
corn." This, in these hospitable Oriental lands, everyone 
is still permitted to do, so long as he does not carry any 
away. (Mark ii. 23 ; Deut. xxiii. 24, 25.) 

The cultivation each year begins with ploughing, about 
the middle or end of November, as we have seen, as soon 
as the first heavy winter rain, the Hebrew geshem, has come 
to saturate and soften the soil, which has been baked to 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

an unworkable hardness during the hot, rainless weather 
from the first of May to the end of October. Thus the 
psalmist represents it as a special mercy of God that, in 
watering the land, and making it fruitful, He first softens the 
soil by saturating it with rain, without which it could not 
be ploughed : — 

" Thou completely-dissolvest [temoaggenah] it with showers." 
(Ps. Ixv. 10.) 

This period of storm and shower in November and 
December is called " the former rain," to distinguish it 
from that which comes to ripen the crop in March and 
April, which is called " the latter rain," and comes " in 
the first month," that is, the first month of the ecclesiastical 
year, Abib, or Nisan, March- April. (Deut. xi. 14; Job xxix. 
23; Prov. xvi. 15; Zech. x. 1; Jas. v. 7.) 

The culture of arable land in Palestine is simple and 
easy. No manure, no artificial dressing, is ever employed. 
That deposited by the beasts as they graze over the stubbly 
ground, the ashes of what is afterwards left to burn, and the 
mineral salts washed down over the soil from the limestone 
hills by the sub-tropical rains of winter, is all the manure the 
rich tillage of Syria has ever received. 

The sower walks in advance of the plough, broadcasting 
the seed. As there are no fences of any kind, some of this 
seed naturally falls "by the wayside," that is, upon the hard, 
open roads that run across the land ; and just as naturally, 
some of it falls "on the rocky places," for huge boulders of 
stone are purposely left in the fields to afford the shade and 
retain the moisture required by the crops in a hot, dry land. 
(Matt. xiii. 4-6.) 

The plough is drawn generally by diminutive red oxen, 
but sometimes by asses, camels, or buffaloes. These are, 
in the case of oxen, asses, and buffaloes, attached by a yoke, 

Ploughing near Nazareth 97 

which is a light beam of wood about four feet long, with 
small sticks of wood some ten inches in length coming down 
below it, one on each side of the animal's neck, made fast 
underneath the neck by tying together stout leather thongs 
attached to the extremities of the projecting sticks — "the 
bands of the yoke." (Lev. xxvi. 13; Ezek. xxxiv. 27.) 

It is literally "put upon" the oxen, and when removed 
"taken from off them," for the beam of the yoke lies on 
the top of their necks. Thus in figure Jehovah speaks of 
" the nation that will not put their neck under the yoke 
of the king of Babylon," that is, "that will not submit to 
and serve him." The weight of the yoke and the pull 
pressing their necks down make the animals stoop. Thus 
God says, "I . . . brought you forth out of Egypt . . . and 
I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go 
upright." The yoke naturally stands for service, and often 
for bondage, and "a yoke of iron" (though literal yokes are 
only made of wood) is a figure for heavy and very oppressive 
bondage. To " break the yoke," or " the bands of the 
yoke," is to give liberty to captives and deliverance from 
oppression. Some yokes are much lighter than others, and 
some by fitting better afford much greater comfort in working. 
Our Lord, alluding to this, says: "Take My yoke upon you 
and learn of Me ... for My yoke is easy." (Matt. xi. 30.) 

The plough is a very light, rudely constructed, primitive 
implement, which a man can carry on his shoulder for two 
miles, if his work lies as far, and it does little more than 
scratch the soil. It has only one handle, which the plough- 
man holds in his right hand. Hence the minute accuracy 
of our Lord's allusion, " No man, having put his hand to 
the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of 
God": his "hand," that is, ".his one hand," and not his 
two hands, as with our ploughman, whose plough has two 

98 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

But there is another special force in this illustration that 
a Westerner would not see. Ploughing is particularly heavy 
work in Palestine, because, so light is the plough, that, 
when it comes to any root, hard clod, or other trifling 
obstruction, the labourer must bend forward and press his 
whole weight upon it, in order to prevent its being thrown 
out of the furrow. Looking back, therefore, would be utterly 
fatal to ploughing in Bible lands. The Palestine plough- 
man must of necessity constantly look onward and press 
forward, and so, too, must the believer, the spiritual plough- 
man. (Luke ix. 62.) 

In his left hand he carries a goad, that is, a long rod 
with an iron, or sharp wood, point at one end, to prod and 
drive on the oxen, and a small iron spud at the other, 
or handle, end, which is used to clean the plough. With 
this goad, used as [a spear, Shamgar, the son of Anath, slew 
600 Philistines, and saved Israel. (Jud. hi. 31.) 

Christ from Heaven says to Saul of Tarsus, when he is 
breathing out slaughter against the disciples at Damascus, 
"It is hard for thee to kick against the goads [kentra]/ 1 
This is evidently the plural of majesty, a very frequent figure 
in Scripture, for "the great goad," that which was in the 
hand of the Saviour, the Heavenly Husbandman. This 
striking metaphor compares Paul, in the violence of his 
unconverted state, to a foolish, unbroken-in ox, which, when 
urged forward by the goad, in its impotent rage, madly kicks 
back against the sharp iron point, and, all in vain, incurs 
terrible, self-inflicted punishment. (Acts xxvi. 14.) 

Ploughing in Palestine has often to be done in the 
midst of cold rains, snow, and storms, sometimes of great 
violence. No wonder "the sluggard will not plough by 
reason of the cold," for the most energetic and industrious 
find it very trying. 

Owing to their light diet and slender clothing, and the 

Ploughing near Nazareth 99 

great heat they are exposed to for some seven months in 
the year, the fellahheen are but little fitted to face work in 
the fields in the winter, when the cold is frequently extreme. 

There is not only the physical trial of working in such 
weather. Many of the people are for the most part ground 
down by the Government, and so poor that they live at the 
best of times from hand to mouth; and, " in seasons of great 
scarcity, they part in sorrow and anxiety with every measure 
of precious seed cast into the ground, for it is like taking 
bread out of the mouths of their starving children, and bitter 
tears at such times are shed over it." 

In allusion to these sadly familiar scenes in the Holy 
Land, the psalmist speaks of those "that sow in tears . . . 
He that indeed goes forth weeping, bearing the basket [or 
'measure'] of seed"; and represents them as sustained 
during this trial by the anticipated joy of harvest; for "they 
shall reap with triumphant singing [rinnah]. . . . He shall 
surely come in with triumphant singing [rinnah], bearing his 
sheaves." I think there is every reason to believe that this 
rinnah is that mode of rejoicing when for a long time they 
go on singing in chorus "Hey aman, 'Allah aman ; hey anian, 
ouroodo kaman," "O amen, God is Amen; O amen, and 
repeat it again," to the accompaniment of a rhythmic clapping 
of hands, a characteristic Oriental feature of great rejoicing. 
(Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.) 

An olive tree in full bloom is shown, which fixes the 
season of our scene as the spring, about the end of April, and 
shows that the sowing here is not of the winter crops, mainly 
wheat and barley, which begins in November and ends about 
the beginning of February, but of the summer crops, in the 
late spring. The olive is, and always must have been, one 
of the characteristic trees of the country, which is truly "a 
land of oil olive." (Deut. viii. 8; 2 Kings xviii. 32.) 

Its superabundant, tiny, silvery blossoms entirely cover the 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

tree, for it produces an amazing quantity of bloom, which 
gives it a very lovely appearance. "In spring one may see 
these flowers, on the slightest breath of wind, shed like 
snowflakes, and perishing by millions, yet enough remain 
to weigh the tree down with fruit." Job alludes to this 
extraordinary shedding of its flowers : 

"He shall cast off his blossom like the olive." (Job xv. 33.) 

Scenes on the 
Threshing Floor 

Scenes on the Threshing Floor 

THE picture is that of the open-air threshing floor at the 
time of harvest, that is, the main harvest of wheat 
and barley, which begins about May 1st on the plains 
and is all over on the highest hills by the middle of June. 
Jeremiah's order of the seasons, given in the words, "The 
harvest is past, the summer is ended," though it is quite wrong 
here, is quite right in the Holy Land, where harvest comes before 
summer, or, as it is in the Hebrew, "the time of summer-fruits 
[kayits]," which commences at the middle of June and goes 
on to the end of August. This time of harvest is always hot 
and dry weather, not a drop of rain falling in Palestine, as 
already stated, from, say, the beginning of May to the 
middle of November. Thunder-storms, which usually come 
with us in summer, only occur in the Holy Land in winter. 
Hence the people's alarm at the miraculous and disastrous 
event when, to show the Divine displeasure, Samuel called 
down thunder and rain in wheat harvest. (1 Sam. xii. 16-18.) 
Owing to the season being rainless, wheat and barley, when 
cut, are carried to the open-air threshing floors, the jitrun of 
the Arabs, and goaren of the Hebrews. These floors are smoothed 
rock surfaces in some high and exposed position. Where rock 
fails, as on many of the plains, they are made of clay and cow- 
dung baked to an intense hardness in the sun. The heap of 
wheat or barley in the middle of the floor is raked down 
into a layer of about a foot deep, and oxen are kept walking 
round upon it, so as, by the trampling of their hoofs, to rub 
out the grain from the ears. The corn, being heaviest, falls 


io4 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

below the straw, which last by this trampling is slowly bruised 
in every part and cut up into tiny pieces. Hence " threshing" 
in Hebrew is doash, from doosh, " trampled down." 

Sometimes a sledge of heavy logs of wood, with rough 
pieces of iron or black basalt stone let into its under side, is 
drawn by oxen over the wheat or barley spread on the threshing 
floor. One of these is shown upside down in our picture. 
This is the moarag of the Hebrew Bible, called to this day 
by the Arabs moarej, Isaiah's " sharp threshing instrument 
having teeth." Sometimes, though more rarely, a heavy sledge 
with rows of small iron-shod wheels let into it, surmounted 
by a rude chair where the driver sits, also drawn by oxen, is 
used for threshing. This is Isaiah's " cart wheel," known to 
the Greeks and Romans as "the Carthaginian wagon." These 
huge threshing sledges, and not, as the English reader would 
naturally suppose, little flails, were "the threshing implements" 
offered by Oman to David as fuel for the altar the king was 
about to erect. (1 Chron. xxi. 23.) 

When the threshing is completed, the heap, consisting of 
corn, crushed straw, and chaff, is tossed up with a fork, when 
a light wind is blowing, which carries the straw and chaff into 
places by themselves, and so winnows out the grain, which, being 
heaviest, falls straight down. In this winnowing, which takes 
place on the open-air threshing floor, three heaps are formed 
— that of wheat or barley, as the case may be, close to the win- 
nower ; the crushed straw in a large heap a little farther on, 
while the chaff (moats), lighter even than the straw, forms a 
tiny heap by itself still farther on, and, if the wind is too 
strong, gets quite blown away and lost. Thus of the wicked 
it is said in Job — 

" They are as crushed straw [teven] before the wind, 
And as chaff [moats] that the whirlwind steals away." (Job xxi. 18.) 

When thus separated from the grain, the crushed straw 

Scenes on the Threshing Floor 105 

is again laid by itself on the threshing floor, and further 
subjected for a whole day to the trampling of oxen, or the 
action of the threshing sledges ; for its value entirely depends 
upon its fineness. 

This treading down of crushed straw by itself had not, 
until my Palestine Explored was published, been brought to 
the notice of the commentators. It is surely to this second, 
more severe trampling down of crushed straw, when separated 
from the grain, to which allusion is made where we are told 
of the people of Jehoahaz that "the king of Syria had destroyed 
them, and had made them like dust in threshing." This, it 
would seem, is also the allusion in Isaiah : — 

" Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing-sledge-having-teeth, 
Thou shalt thresh mountains and beat [them] small, 
And shalt make the hills as chaff [moats]. 
Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, 
And the whirlwind shall scatter them." (Isa. xli. 15, 16.) 

' The comparison of mountains and hills to the huge heaps 
on the threshing floor is a bold and striking figure ; whilst 
the reference to the wind carrying them away plainly identi- 
fies the heaps in question with those consisting entirely of 
crushed straw and chaff. The whole process of winnowing 
in Palestine proceeds, as I have shown, on the principle that 
the wind is not strong enough in the warm season, except 
on very rare occasions, to do this in the case of corn." 1 
Micah iv. 13 requires the same explanation. 

The crushed straw made by this process is called in 
Arabic teben, and is evidently the Hebrew teven, as dis- 
tinguished from kash, which both in Hebrew and Arabic is 
"long straw," or "stubble" — a most important distinction 
always ignored in our Versions. 

Teben, or " crushed straw," is employed throughout the 

I Palestine Explored, 13th edition, p. 237. 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

East for two important purposes. First and chiefly it is used 
as fodder for horses, asses, oxen, camels, etc., in place of 
hay as with us, which last is not, and never has been, used 
as fodder in Bible lands. Secondly, it is employed to mix 
with clay to make sun-dried clay bricks, the universal bricks 
of the Orient. Horses and camels are still, as they were 
in Solomon's stables, fed on " barley and crushed straw." 
Twice in Isaiah we read that the food of the ox was teben ; 
hence he was not to be muzzled "when threshing," that 
is, when preparing, his own proper food by walking about 
over the straw. (1 Kings iv. 28 ; Isa. xi. 7, lxv. 25 ; Deut. 
xxv. 4; 1 Cor. ix. 9; 1 Tim. v. 18.) 

In Pharaoh's persecuting edict, the taskmasters set over 
Israelite toilers in Egyptian brickfields were commanded no 
more to give the people "crushed straw [teven]." "So the 
people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt 
to gather stubble [kash] for [making into] crushed straw 
[teven]," that is, last year's trodden-down stubble — left when 
the harvest was reaped almost twelve months before. Yet they 
were to deliver the same number of bricks as before. Well 
might "the officers of the children of Israel see them in 
affliction," when it was said, "Ye shall not diminish from 
your bricks the daily amount [literally, 'the matter of a day 
in its day']." (Ex. v. 6-19.) 

In Scripture, wheat, "the good seed," is a figure of the 
righteous, "the sons of the kingdom"; and teben, "crushed 
straw," is as uniformly a figure of the wicked. While threshing 
separates the wheat — the precious from the vile — and puts it 
in a place of safety below the straw, the straw itself, remaining 
exposed to constant trampling on the top, is torn to pieces 
and crushed and bruised in every part. 

The threshing sledge is the Roman tribulum, whence our 
word "tribulation." Observe its double action; for tribulation, 
producing "godly sorrow," so far from harming him, has for 

Scenes on the Threshing Floor 


the believer a separating and purifying effect, "working re- 
pentance unto salvation which brings no regret " ; while to 
the world the same tribulation and sorrow "work death." 
(2 Cor. vii. 10; Acts xiv. 22.) 

On this threshing floor a fellahh is shown crushing pottery 
to make the principal ingredient of Oriental cement, though 
it is only done when the crop is off the floor. He employs 
a huge rough stone for this purpose, the rougher and more 
unhewn the better. The pottery so crushed is called by the 
Arabs hhomrah — " thick hhomrah " when it is broken into 
tiny pieces, about a third of an inch square, used in rough 
cement work; and "thin hhomrah" when ground to powder 
for the preparation of cement of a finer kind. 

There seems plainly an allusion to this process in the 
passage in which it is said of the enemies of God and of 
His people : — 

" Thou shalt dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel." (Ps. ii. 9.) 

Still plainer is the reference in Isaiah : — 

"And its shivering shall be like the shivering 01 a potters' bottle, 
Beaten down — He does not spare ; 
Nor is there found in its beating down 
A potsherd to take fire from a hearth, 
And to draw out water from a ditch." (Isa. xxx. 14.) 

The preparation of hhomrah in this way throws also a 
graphic light on the shivering of the bakbook, the "potter's 
earthen bottle" of our Versions, the narrow-necked drinking- 
water bottle of the East, that Jeremiah was commanded to 
break. It is called in the Hebrew bakbook, because this is 
the gurgling sound made when water is poured out of it. 
Down to the year 1874, the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, 
where, in the presence of the elders, the bakbook was to be 
broken as a symbol of the destruction coming on the city, 
was the only spot in or near Jerusalem where hhomrah was 

io8 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

manufactured by the grinding to powder of earthenware 
bottles. (Jer. xix. 1, 2, 10, 11.) 

It throws an even stronger light on the figure used 
in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, where the partly iron and partly 
pottery feet of the image symbolising Gentile powers are 
crushed by "a stone cut out without hands," that is, such a 
one as the huge rough stone employed to this day on the 
threshing floors to make hhomrah. 1 

1 Dan. ii. 34, 35. See Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 112-28. 


Sifting Wheat 

THE central figure in this scene is a fellahhah, a village 
woman, who is seen sifting wheat before grinding it in 
the handmill to make her "daily bread." As we have 
seen, under the picture of threshing corn, both wheat and 
barley are threshed by a rude and primitive process, on an open- 
air threshing floor, and come into the market in a very unclean 
condition. For they are mingled with dust and small stones, 
damaged grains, and the seeds of many wild grasses, in- 
cluding the blackened grains of that strong - growing rye 
grass, bearded darnel (Lolium tetnulentum) , blackened by a 
poisonous smut, akin to the ergot of rye, which often 
attacks it in Palestine, so unhappily rendered "tare" in our 
Versions. The Arabs call it zowan, and it is evidently the 
zizania of the New Testament, which, because it is such a 
tall, strong-growing grass, cannot be distinguished, so as to 
weed it out, till its ears are formed. Thus wheat and 
bearded darnel, when they spring up in the same field, must 
both be allowed to grow together till the harvest. (Matt, 
xiii. 24-30.) 

Neither farmer nor corn merchant cleans the corn, so that 
this has to be done from time to time in each household, 
for all that has been done on the threshing floor is the winnow- 
ing out of the corn from the crushed straw and chaff, by toss- 
ing it up with a fork or shovel against the wind. Hence arises 
the distinct process of sifting, as distinguished from that of 

Though it goes on all the year round in every house, both 

ii2 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

in country and town, I do not think it had been described 
till I gave a very full account of it in my Palestine Explored. 
It first became a familiar scene to me in the courtyard of our 
parsonage home on Mount Zion, where our native cook, a 
Bethlehem woman, was often to be seen skilfully performing 
this process of sifting. 

The sieve, or ghurbal, used for this purpose is a large but 
very shallow one. The woman — for this work is always done by 
women — squats on the floor, and half fills the sieve with wheat. 
At the outset she shakes "the ghurbal from right to left six or 
seven times, till all the crushed straw and the chaff that still 
remain in the corn come to the surface, most of which she is 
able to gather up and throw away. Then she commences 
to hold the sieve in a slanting position, and for a considerable 
length of time jerks it up and down, blowing vigorously across 
it all the while with her mouth. This part of the manipu- 
lation, which is most skilfully performed, has three results. 

"First, the dust, earth, fine grass seeds, and small or broken 
grains of wheat fall through the meshes of the sieve on to the 
ground at her feet. 

"Next, chiefly by means of the blowing, the remaining 
crushed straw (teben) and chaff are either dispersed or col- 
lected in that part of the ghurbal which is farthest from her. 

"Thirdly, the best of the wheat goes to the bottom in the 
centre in one heap ; while at the same time the small stones 
are collected together in a little pile by themselves, on that 
part of the sieve which is nearest to her chest. She then 
removes with her hands the stones, teben, chaff, and other 

"After this she sets the ghurbal down, and, carefully 
going over the corn, picks out any impurities which may 
yet remain. The 'sifting' is then complete. Often have 
I stood to watch this primitive but dexterous process, which, 
as it is the same in every part of the land, is in all prob- 

Sifting Wheat 113 

ability that to which Divine allusion is twice made in the 
Scriptures." 1 

Amos, predicting the age-long persecutions and sufferings 
of Israel, declares : — 

" For lo, I will command, 
And I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, 
As [corn] is sifted in a sieve, 
And not a small stone [tzeroar] shall fall upon the earth." (Amos ix. 9.) 

Tzeroar is evidently the diminutive of tzoor, " a rock," and 
is the same as the colloquial Arabic, surar, "a pebble." 

How strikingly is here shown the endless trial and unrest, 
the unparalleled, searching discipline of these "tribes of the 
wandering foot and weary breast." But the wonder of it 
is, as this prophecy declares, that throughout all they have 
remained a distinct and separate people. For the house of 
Israel, driven hither and thither amongst all the nations, 
sifted "as [corn] is sifted in a sieve," have yet been pre- 
served alone in that sieve of isolation and suffering where 
Jehovah has kept them tossing these 2,500 years. Most 
appropriately has He likened this painful discipline to "sift- 
ing," for His gracious purpose in it throughout has been to 
separate the precious from the vile, and to prepare them 
to take their place amongst the good wheat in the heavenly 

But even the hard-hearted, stony-ground members of this 
miraculously preserved people, though worthless as the pebbles 
amongst the grain, have not been allowed to perish, for so 
have been fulfilled the words — 

"And not a small stone shall fall upon the earth." 

The same graphic figure occurs in the Gospel narrative, 
in our Lord's warning words to Peter, " Simon, Simon, behold, 

1 Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 245-49. 

n4 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Satan asked to have you, that he might sift [you] like wheat." 
(Luke xxii. 31.) 

A fellahh wearing the rude sheepskin jacket, furweh, is 
shown with a naboot, or " club," the shaivet, over his shoulder, 
returning from a hunting expedition, carrying a hare and a 
red-legged partridge. 

On the wall of the house may be seen cakes of cowdung 
plastered there and left to dry in the sun, to supply the usual 
cooking fuel of the fellahheen. 

The scene of our picture is in the neighbourhood of 
Anti-Lebanon, which rises snow-streaked in the background ; 
so that the time of the year must be about March or April, 
for by May, snow, except in a few sheltered valleys with 
northern aspect, is only to be seen in Syria resting on the 
summit of Mount Hermon, which, for a great part of the 
year, stands out against the sky a conspicuous white cone. 

Snow rarely falls in Southern Palestine in any quantity 
more than once in five or six years, and then only lies on the 
ground for two or three days. Ice never lasts for a day in 
Southern and Central Palestine. There — and, indeed, through- 
out the East — it is the custom to use snow in compressed 
masses to cool drinks in the hot weather ; for snow, coming 
straight from the distilled waters of the sky, is far purer 
and safer than ice, seeing the latter is formed from sheets 
of water on the ground. 

This is alluded to in Scripture, for snow is there spoken 
of where we should speak of ice. The following are seme 
instances : — 

" Like a vessel of snow in a day of harvest, 
Is a faithful ambassador to those sending him." (Pro v. xxv. 13.) 

" Like snow in summer, and like rain in harvest, 
So honour is not comely for a fool." (Prov. xxvi. 1.) 

In the mid-distance the summer-sea-night-mist, which 

Sifting Wheat 115 

comes up from " the Great Sea westward," the Medi- 
terranean, every night in the hot season when an east or 
south-east wind is not blowing, is seen faintly, as it passes 
away at sunrise, reabsorbed into the warm air. This is the 
'dew" of our Versions, which occurs some thirty-five times 
in the Old Testament, and, happily, is a uniform rendering 
of the Hebrew word tal. This mist from the sea comes up 
in silvery white clouds almost every night for some seven 
months of the hot season, dropping for hours a very fine 
night rain like a heavy Scotch mist. It is exceedingly 
precious, for no drop of rain falls during these six or seven 
months, and dew seldom forms at that season ; so that this 
summer-sea-night-mist is the only moisture that then comes 
to cleanse and freshen the air and keep alive all delicate 

The wise man tells us, as an eminent illustration of the 
wisdom and goodness of Jehovah — or so he appears to say, 
according to the Authorised Version : 

"The clouds drop down the dew [tal]." (Pro v. iii. 20.) 

But this is just what clouds never do, and, indeed, "dew" 
never forms on a night when any clouds are about! But 
this is literally and beautifully accurate when we rightly translate 
tal, like the similar Arabic talah, "summer-sea-night-mist"; 
for these silvery clouds, taking at sunrise the glorious opal 
hues of dawn, drop down a delightful, cooling, fine rain over 
the thirsty plains and hills of the Holy Land, and then, as 
soon as the day is hot, about nine a.m., pass entirely away. 

Thus the prophet declares of Israel's brief and transient 
periods of obedience : — 

"Your goodness is like a morning cloud, 

And like the summer-sea-night-mist [tal] that goes early away." 
(Hos. vi. 4 ; xiii. 3). 

n6 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Every place where "dew" occurs in our Versions will 
be found to have a new and beautiful force in the light of 
the discovery I made in Palestine of the true meaning of 
tal, and which I have dealt with at length in Palestine 

Explored. 1 

1 Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 129-51. 


Olive Yard 

An Olive Yard 

THE olive is the natural king of Palestine trees. Of 
Israel's royal race it is said that in the coming time 
of their restoration " his majesty [hoad] shall be like 
the olive." In perfect keeping with this, in Jotham's fable, 
when the trees went "to anoint a king over them," they 
went first to the olive. 

Olives are as meat and butter to the Palestine peasants, 
the mass of the people, and one tree in full bearing will 
go largely toward feeding a family. The berries form a 
very nourishing and fat-supplying food, especially in the hot 
season of the year. Thus Jehovah in Palestine " causes the 
face to shine from oil." (Hos. xiv. 6; Jud. ix. 8-15; Ps. 
civ. 15.) 

The usual food of the poor in Bible lands is a "hand- 
ful of meal and a little oil in a cruse," whilst nothing could 
be more natural than that, in a time of famine, a poor 
widow, such as the one Elisha helped, should have nothing 
left in the house " save a pot of oil." The payment for 
Hiram's servants, "twenty thousand measures of wheat for 
his household, and twenty measures of pure oil," shows that 
the staple food of the working classes in Solomon's days 
was the same as it is now. (1 Kings xvii. 12 ; 2 Kings 
iv. 2 ; 1 Kings v. 11.) 

In Palestine to this day, there are far more olive trees 
than any others, for it is essentially "a land of oil olive." 
The trees in an olive yard are often possessed by various 
owners who do not possess the land, but have only a right 



Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

to dig around the roots and otherwise attend to the trees, 
and at harvest time gather the fruit. 

The olive is the second tree mentioned hy name in the 
Bible, the first being the fig. The tree begins to bear about 
its fifteenth year, and then continues to feed twenty genera- 
tions. Its gnarled trunk, and its rounded sage-green foliage, 
with a silver sheen on the under side, make it a very striking 
and beautiful feature of Holy Land scenery. Thus Hosea 
declares of saved Israel, in allusion to its regal character, and 
to that beauty which Ruskin so much admired when he 
beheld the groves of this tree in Italy — 

" His majesty [hoad] shall be like the olive." (Hos. xiv. 6.) 

The wild olive grows spontaneously, and is then grafted 
from a cultivated tree. In the Apostle Paul's interesting and 
important allusion to this, he speaks of the Gentiles under 
the Gospel dispensation as "a wild olive tree" being grafted 
into the root of Israel, the "fat," that is, "oil-bearing," cul- 
tivated olive tree ; but adds that this illustration he employs 
alludes to a process "contrary to nature," for "the olive 
wild by nature " is not in Palestine grafted into " the good 
olive tree," but just the reverse. (Rom. xi. 17-24.) 

A crier proclaims the day settled by the village elders, 
early in October, when the olive harvest is to commence, 
and then, and not till then, all the people who own olive 
trees may collect the berries. An olive tree in full bearing 
will yield from ten to fifteen gallons of oil. Women and 
boys mostly gather in the produce, partly by beating 
the trees with rods, and partly by climbing into them and 
shaking the berries down. They used these same rods 
3,400 years ago, for we read in the law of Moses, "When 
thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the 
boughs again : it shall be for the stranger, for the father- 
less, and for the widow." (Deut. xxiv. 20.) They also shook 

An Olive Yard 121 

the fruit down in the days of Isaiah just as they do now, 
for the prophet declares : — 

" Yet the gleaning of grapes shall be left in it, 
Like the shaking of an olive tree," (Isa. xvii. 6.) 

and again : — 

" When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the peoples, 
[There shall be] like the shaking of an olive tree." (Isa. xxiv. 13.) 

The picture shows a scene at the time of this ingathering. 
The olive harvest is the last crop of the year, coming just 
before the Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering. 

Some of the berries are pickled in salt water, and pre- 
served to be eaten as a rich, fattening food. But the bulk 
are carried to the olive presses, where they are first crushed 
into pulp in a primitive stone mill. Sometimes this pulp is 
sewn up in canvas or horsehair bags, and the remaining 
oil it contains trodden out by the bare feet of women and 
girls. In allusive reference to this, it was said that Asher 
should "dip his foot in oil." But the main part of the 
pulp is usually put into small flexible baskets, piled one over 
the other under a rude wooden press, worked either by a 
screw or a beam lever. " Pure olive oil beaten ' : alludes to 
a cleaner way of extracting the oil by beating it out of the 
berries with the blows of a stick. (Ex. xxvii. 20; xxix. 40.) 

Job's allusion to the rock pouring him out " rivulets of 
oil" is to the tiny streams of oil flowing from the rock 
presses. Jacob's being made " to suck ... oil out of 
flinty rock" seems an allusion to the limestone of Palestine, 
in which the olive flourishes. When the olive is torn by 
tempest, or riven by lightning, or cut into by the poor and 
improvident fellahheen to furnish firewood, the slender threads 
of its remaining trunk, as shown to the right in our picture, 
are piled round with stones as a support, and the bark again 

122 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

grows over the wounded part, and the tree in its wonderful 
vitality still goes on bearing abundantly. For this, among 
other reasons, it is a fitting emblem of the Church. Its rich 
oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, prophets, priests, and kings 
of a new dynasty being anointed with oil, and oil being the 
chief, almost sole, illuminant throughout the Orient. Often 
a number of young shoots spring up around the parent tree, 
as shown here in the case of the stone-protected olive. This 
seems to be the psalmist's allusion when, speaking of the 
blessing of the man who fears Jehovah, he says : — 

"Thy children [shall be] like olive plants round about thy table." 
(Ps. cxxviii. 3.) 


The Phantasia 


the White Banner 

Sanctuary — The Phantasia of the White Banner 

THIS picture is a fine illustration of the overpowering 
glare of Syrian noon in the hot, dry season, which 
lasts from, say, the first day of May to about the end 
of October. Such is the heat, and the consequent dryness 
of the air, that it seems to wondrously soften and subdue 
all colour, and to clothe the scene with an indescribable 
brightness. Artists have found it difficult to represent the 
high lights and neutral tints thus produced, which are so 
rare in most northern latitudes. Perhaps of all men the late 
Mr. H. A. Harper has best depicted this distinctive feature 
of Palestine scenery during some seven months of each 
year ; and he told me that he believed he owed his ability to 
render these colour effects to his having, when young, spent 
much time painting in the Wharfedale, Yorkshire, where he 
had found, in the summer and early autumn, something ap- 
proaching the exquisitely high lights and neutral tints so 
characteristic of the Holy Land. 

The scene depicted is a truly Oriental one. It illustrates 
the subject of taking sanctuary, which has become necessary 
throughout the East owing to the unwritten but inexorable 
law of thar, or "blood-revenge." The crime of homicide 
in all its forms is punished, not, as with us, by a State 
criminal court, but by the relatives of the man who has 
been slain, and this was evidently the same in Old Testament 
times, as so many allusions show. This was all along the 
interpretation put on the method of carrying out the Divine 
command given to Noah and his sons, "Whoso sheddeth 



Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed ; for in the 
image of God made He man"; and it is clear that the 
law of Moses recognises and endorses the present mode of 
procedure in Bible lands. (Gen. ix. 6.) 

They do not make a clear distinction between wilful 
murder and other forms of homicide, and they claim a right 
to the ''blood," that is, the life, not only of the actual 
homicide, but of his relations within a certain limit. It rests 
within the khomsee, or fifth generation, those only having the 
right to avenge a slain person whose fourth lineal ascendant 
is, at the same time, the fourth lineal ascendant of the per- 
son slain ; and, on the other side, only those male kindred 
of the homicide are liable to pay with their own for the 
blood shed whose fourth lineal ascendant is, at the same 
time, the fourth lineal ascendant of the homicide. The lineal 
descendants of all those who were entitled to revenge at the 
moment of the manslaughter inherit this right from their 
parents. The right is never lost : it descends on both sides 
to the latest generations. This right is called the thar, or 
"blood-revenge." 1 It applies to a life taken in war or in 
border feuds, as well as on other occasions ; and therefore, 
to save themselves, the people in a fight try to single out 
a man who has killed another. Arab children are taught to 
conceal their family names, lest they should suddenly be 
made to pay with their young lives a claim for blood against 
their house, on account of the act of some remote ancestor! 
The words "There is blood between us" are darkly sug- 
gestive of an endless feud that often decimates a family for 
a whole century; for, as the Arabs say, "dam butlub dam" 
—"blood calls for blood." Thus God said to Cain, "The 
voice of thy brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground," 
that is, "cries out to me for your blood." (Gen. iv. 10.) 

1 For a full description of the thar, see the author's Pictured Palestine, 5th edition, 
pp. 230-43. 

Sanctuary 127 

It is most interesting to notice here that the law of Moses 
strictly limits the thar to the life of the actual murderer. 
''The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, 
neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers ; 
every man shall be put to death for his own sin." This is 
one of those many cases where the Mosaic law, while en- 
dorsing and incorporating the ancient customs universal 
throughout the Eastern world— such as slavery, polygamy, 
divorce, and others — greatly modified them in a righteous 
and merciful direction. (Deut. xxiv. 16.) 

In order to mitigate the terrors of this ancient system 
there is a custom by which a blood fine, called deeyah, may 
be accepted instead of life by the relatives of a man who has 
been killed. There is in this way a fixed "price of blood." 
Amongst the fellahheen it is 4,000 piastres, or about £35, 
for a man, and half that amount for a woman. This 
money payment "in the place of "blood," or "life," was 
not allowed by the law of Moses in the case of a wilful 
murder. It is expressly said, "Ye shall take no ransom for 
the life of a murderer who is guilty of death." But probably 
in the case of accidental or justifiable homicide of any kind, 
as in the special case of the sentence to death on the owner 
of an ox who had gored a man, the deeyah, or money fine, 
was sanctioned by the Mosaic law in lieu of life. It was 
certainly allowed in the case of the Gentile nations surrounding 
Israel in the case of wilful murder, just as it is amongst the 
Arabs to-day; for David asks the Gibeonites, whose kinsmen 
Saul had slain, "With what shall I give you a ransom?" 
and they hastened to say they would not have "silver or 
gold of Saul or his house" — that is, the deeyah — but the lives 
of seven of Saul's sons. According to the terrible practice 
prevailing to this day, their bodies were exposed after their 
execution, in this case for almost seven months — " from the 
beginning of harvest [about May 1st] until water poured 

i28 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

down on them from heaven [' the former rain,' about the 
third week in November]," probably hung up in chains. 
This barbarous insulting the bodies of the dead was specially 
forbidden by the law of Moses: "If a man have committed 
a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou 
hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night 
upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him that day." 
(Deut. xxi. 22, 23). 

Even in Israel, though no life but that of the manslayer 
might be taken, yet it was not by the officials of a court of 
justice he was to be executed, but, just as in Palestine to- 
day, by "the avenger of blood." "The avenger of blood 
himself shall slay the murderer ; when he meets him he shall 
slay him." Indeed, the elders of the murderer's city, when 
he has fled for refuge, are commanded to " send and fetch 
him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger 
of blood, that he may die." Of an Israelite who entices 
another to serve heathen gods, it is said to the tempted 
one, "Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first 
upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand 
of all the people, and thou shalt stone him with stones, that 
he die." In the case of "a stubborn, rebellious son . . . 
glutton, and a drunkard," his father and mother are commanded 
to bring him unto the elders of his city at the gate of his 
place and denounce him, that " all the men of his city shall 
stone him with stones, that he die." No less than forty-five 
offences are mentioned in the Pentateuch as punishable with 
death. In most of these cases there seems little reason to 
doubt that the voice of two witnesses would at any time 
convict, and the people of each town or village would be 
the unprofessional executioners. 

To soften the harshness of this summary procedure, in 
the case of homicide, and to avoid the mistakes that through 
hasty passions might otherwise occur, six cities of refuge 

Sanctuary 129 

were appointed to afford instant and inviolable sanctuary to 
the manslayer who might flee to them and there have his 
case properly investigated. Of them it is said, " And they 
shall be unto you cities of refuge from the avenger ; that 
the manslayer die not until he stand before the congregation 
in judgment . . . and the congregation shall deliver the 
slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood " . . . " because 
he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not be- 
foretime. And he shall dwell in that city . . . until the death 
of the high priest that shall be in those days : then shall the 
slayer return and come into his own city." (Numb. xxxv. 
12, 25 ; Josh. xx. 5, 6.) 

But there are in Palestine to-day, and it was doubtless 
the same in Bible times, several other rough and ready 
modes of sanctuary. First, a man pursued by the avenger of 
blood may seize hold of the dress of a woman, even that of 
his own wife, and thus find safety. Secondly, he may fly to 
a mosque or a mukam, or any sacred shrine and so escape. 
Thirdly, he may take refuge in the abode of any neutral 
person, and in this case, no matter what trouble or incon- 
venience may be caused by the presence of the uninvited 
guest, it is thought very disgraceful to refuse such an asylum 
if it is sought. Many lives every year are saved in this way 
in Syria and the adjacent Bible lands, the fugitive manslayer 
staying as a guest in the house to which he has fled until 
the matter has been settled, and the avenger and his friends 
have either been satisfied that the homicide was innocent, or 
else have formally accepted the blood fine — which last is 
very frequently the case amongst the fellahheen, who avoid 
taking life unnecessarily, for, as they say, " man is not a 
water melon : when once in the ground he cannot rise 

A fourth and most remarkable mode of taking sanctuary 
is evidently ancient. A man, when pursued and overtaken 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

by the avenger of blood, may yet in most instances save 
himself by crying, "I am the dahheel [that is, 'one who 
entered the abode of,' and therefore is 'a protege of'] 
such an one," mentioning the name of some person of power 
or rank. To quote from Palestine Explored, "According 
to their custom, the protection of the person invoked is 
gained, even by one who is unknown to him, by thus merely 
calling upon his name. It is held to be as though the 
fugitive had succeeded in entering the tent or dwelling of 
the person he mentions. In such a case, if the avengers of 
blood refuse to listen to the appeal, and take the manslayer's 
life, the person on whose name he has called is bound, by 
their code of honour, to take swift and summary vengeance. 
When they are in the act of killing him, the fugitive turns 
to someone who is present, and cries, 'Ana dahheel fulan — 
el amaneh andak ' ; ' I am the dahheel [or ' protege '] of such 
an one — the trust is with thee.' He does not say, 'such an 
one,' fulan, but actually names some great and powerful 
person, who may be a person whom he does not know and 
who does not know him. By these words the dying man 
commits to the one he addresses the sacred duty of informing 
the protector who was invoked of what has taken place, and 
of relating how the victim was slain in despite of the respect 
due to his name. One so addressed is bound by every prin- 
ciple of religion and honour, however much he may dislike 
doing so, to accept and carry out this trust. To neglect to 
carry out an amaneh, or 'trust,' is in their estimation, not 
only a deep disgrace, but also an unpardonable sin. To call 
a man ' hhayin el amaneh,' 'breaker of a trust,' is to give 
him the vilest character that can be borne. 

1 When tidings have been brought to the person whose 
name was invoked by the victim of the avengers of blood, 
he has the right of gathering together all his friends and allies 
to assist him in punishing the outrage, and establishing the 

Sanctuary 131 

honour of his name. With the customary cry, 'Who is 
on my side ? Who ? ' he calls upon them to join their armed 
followers with his own men. He then marches to the place 
where his dahheel was slain, and has a right to take vengeance 
upon all who were concerned in killing him during three and 
one third days, by putting to death all the men and seizing all 
their property. For this act of summary vengeance no blood- 
revenge or blood-money can ever be claimed. When the 
three and one third days are over, a white flag is hoisted on a 
pole or spear by the relatives of the dahheel who was put to 
death, in the honour of his protector. Any of the offenders 
who have escaped with their lives may now return in safety 
and resume whatever is left of their property." 1 

In most cases the calling on the name of a powerful 
protector is sufficient to stay the hand of the most enraged 
revenger, and procure the safety of his self-constituted dahheel 
who has thus publicly called upon his name. Both in this 
case, and also when the sanctuary of a neutral house has been 
accorded, the rescued manslayer, when either acquitted on 
trial, or spared through the acceptance of blood-money 
instead of his life, is led back with rejoicing by his family 
and friends to his home, in a public procession with a white 
flag hoisted; and it is proclaimed as they pass along, "This 
banner is the honour of the great sheikh So-and-so," the person 
whose house or name afforded a safe sanctuary, whilst songs 
in his praise are sung to the accompaniment of clapping of 
hands, firing off of guns, music, and loud ullaloos. On such 
occasions, as shown in our picture, a wild, half-naked, turbanless, 
dishevelled man, often waving a drawn sword, dances back- 
ward with absurd and extravagant gestures, playing the buffoon 
to do honour to the event ! This strange custom, with its 
interesting Scripture allusion, I explain more fully in the 
description of "A Bridal Procession in a Town." 

1 Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 108, 109. 

*32 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Such a procession in the streets is greeted by the people 
with cries of " Phantasia ! phantasia ! " a term which applies 
to all public displays or spectacles, of which they are passion- 
ately fond, whether a military parade with band playing, or 
derweeshes marching abroad with banners and music and 
insignia of their orders, a wedding procession either of bride 
or bridegroom, or one connected with a Mohammedan cir- 
cumcision, or any other public spectacle. This is a most 
interesting case of a Greek word having come down from 
the time of Christ, and surviving on the lips of the people 
down to our day. When, more than 1,800 years ago, King 
Agrippa and his Queen Bernice came, no doubt with a royal 
procession, to the courthouse to hear Paul, we read that it 
was "with much -phantasia," rendered "pomp" in our 
Versions ; and in the Greek the word has the accent on 
the syllable "si," just as it has on Arab lips to-day. The 
late Colonel C. R. Conder, who is generally so accurate, has 
fallen into a curious mistake over this, for he says of these 
displays that "they indulge occasionally in what is termed a 
phantasia, a word apparently of Italian origin introduced by 
the Franks"; the fact being that this is one of the several 
Greek words which must have passed into Palestine speech 
as the result of the Greek conquest of Palestine 300 years 
before Christ. (Acts xxv. 23.) 

There would appear to be several allusions to this mode 
of taking sanctuary in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 
Let Psalm xx. be read in this light. It is a prayer of the 
people for their king when he is in danger of his life. The 
psalmist cries : — 

" The name of the God of Jacob defend thee. . . . 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, 
But we will make mention of the name of Jehovah our 
God." (Ps. xx. i, 7.) 

Rejoicing by anticipation in the salvation that this Name 

Sanctuary 133 

will bring, he cries, in evident allusion to the white flag that 
is set up and carried about in the protector's honour : — 

" We will rejoice in thy salvation, 
And in the name of our God we will set up a banner 
[nideggoal]." (Ps. xx. 5.) 

Again, in another psalm of David, whose adventurous 
life of border warfare had doubtless led him to become very 
familiar with matters of sanctuary, there seems a further 
reference to the same custom : — 

" Save me, O God, by Thy name, 
And by Thy might vindicate me . . . 
For strangers are risen up against me, 
And oppressors seek after my life." (Ps. liv. 1, 3.) 

Exulting in the power of Jehovah's name, and the cer- 
tainty of His vindicating those who appeal to it, he adds :— 

" Behold, God is my helper . . . 
He will return the evil unto mine enemies ; 
In thy truth cut them off." (Ps. liv. 4, 5.) 

But still plainer is the allusion of the wise man, when, 
speaking of the Divine protection, he says :— 

" The name of Jehovah is a strong tower : 
The righteous runs into it, and is safe [literally, 'is set 
aloft']." (Prov. xviii. 10.) 

The costumes in our picture all show that this scene is 
amongst the fellahheen. On the flat, low roof of a village house, 
which is only about seven or eight feet high, women are seen 
attracted by the sight. Being in the presence of men, they are 
veiled. This veiling, in the case of the fellahhat, or village 
women, consists of taking one end of the large white sheet 
which, hanging behind them from their head, does duty 
as a veil, and holding it before their mouth. The windows 

134 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

being so few and small, and the housetops flat and affording 
an excellent view of what is going on in the adjacent streets, 
on the occasion of any exciting' scenes the people throng to 
the roofs. This applies equally to the town houses, which, 
although they sometimes have one or two large windows, have 
these windows shut in by close, carved wooden lattice work, and 
also possess flat roofs rendered accessible by a staircase within. 
It was just the same in Old Testament times. The people of 
Jerusalem, "the Valley of Vision," are represented, in their 
alarm, as "wholly gone up to the housetops," in order to see 
what the strange stir and tumult in the city was about, where 
we should say they had " rushed to the windows." (Isa. xxii. 1.) 
Around the roofs of some of these, and of all the higher 
two- or three-storey houses in the towns, there is a stone or con- 
crete balustrade, about a foot and a half to two feet high. A 
number of earthenware pipes, laid one over the other in the 
form of a pyramid, are put at intervals in these low balustrade 
walls, for the purpose of ventilation ; but they are purposely 
laid parallel to the roof, so that those looking through them 
may not be able to see into their neighbours' courtyards, 
the seclusion of women in the East specially calling for this 
precaution. As all are made alike in this respect, they doubtless 
represent the ancient, unchanged form of such parapets. The 
law of Moses, amongst its many other considerate and merciful 
precepts, required all builders to erect this protective structure, 
in the words: "When thou buildest a new house, then thou 
shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood 
upon thine house, if any man fall from thence." (Deut. 
xxii. 8.) 

Fishing in the 
Lake of Galilee 







l" '■' 




Fishing in the Lake of Galilee 

THE various modes of fishing are here depicted as they 
are still carried on in the Lake of Galilee, or Kinnereth, 
as it is called, from kinnor, "a harp " (whence the 
Greek name Gennesaret), for this sheet of water, about 
thirteen miles long by seven miles broad at the widest part 
towards the north end, is in the form of a harp. Its waters 
are bright and clear, and its greatest depth is 156 feet. Canon 
Tristram says: "The density of the shoals of fish in the Sea 
of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not 
witnessed them. "Frequently these shoals cover an acre or 
more of the surface, and the fish, as they slowly move along 
in masses, are so crowded, with their back fins just appearing 
on the level of the water, that the appearance at a little dis- 
tance is that of violent showers of rain pattering on the 
surface." It will be seen how this bears out the over- 
whelming catch of fish recorded by Luke ; when, even 
though the net broke, they filled two of the boats "till they 
nearly sank." (Luke v. 5-9.) 

The fish are mainly of the bream, perch, and carp kinds, 
and very similar to those of the Nile, a fact to which Josephus 
calls attention. Fourteen species have been observed by Dr. 
Tristram, and he thinks there may be forty. The coracinus, 
or catfish, Clarias mac? -acanthus (Gunther), w r hich is a silurus, 
or sheat fish, is sometimes three feet long, and, being without 
scales, was forbidden to the Jews. In the parable, the seine, 
or drag net, was drawn to shore, the good fish were gathered 
into vessels, and the " rotten were cast away " ; these " rotten " 


138 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

fish would be those ceremonially unclean, in this lake sheat 
fish and eels. (Matt. xiii. 47, 48.) 

It is an interesting and significant fact that when our 
Lord twice fed the crowds, and once, after His resurrection, 
His disciples, the only food in addition to bread that He 
provided was fish — cold fried fish, no doubt, such as the bakers' 
boys still carry about on a tray with their loaves of bread. 
The only description of food we are told of our Lord's eating 
was "a piece of broiled fish," and this, wonderful to relate, 
was after His resurrection ! 

The lake is very picturesque and beautiful, being closely 
surrounded by mountains, and therefore liable to sudden 
and very violent storms, such as that recorded as following 
at the close of the fine evening when the five thousand sat 
upon the ground at a miraculous feast. Partly because it is 
thus shut in, and still more because it is 682 feet below the 
level of the Mediterranean Sea, it is exceedingly hot. 

On this account the fishermen here work stark naked, 
with sometimes a little skull cap on their heads ; and they 
are the only workmen in Palestine who do, for nakedness is 
thought shameful. This strange custom is incidentally noticed 
in his Gospel by John the fisherman, when he tells that Peter, 
before leaping out of the boat to swim ashore to his Master, 
"girt his fisher's garment upon him, for he was naked." It 
would seem to have been one of our Lord's fisher followers, 
who, at His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, had "a 
linen cloth cast about his naked body," and when, in trying 
to take him, they seized the linen cloth, " he fled from 
them naked." On the Egyptian monuments men fishing 
with nets are depicted naked. (John xxi. 7 ; Mark xiv. 
51, 52.) _ 

Fishing in the lake is chiefly carried on from the shore. 
At Ain Tabigah on the north shore, towards the west of 
it, is a spring of warm, clear water, and here the vast shoals 

Fishing in the Lake of Galilee 139 

gather from time to time. The only other spot where this 
occurs is on the eastern side of the north shore, where the 
Jordan enters the lake, and the fish are attracted by its fresh, 
cool waters. I made- this discovery of these only two regular 
places of fishing during a journey in this region in 1872, 
and at once perceived that these must be the two Bethsaidas, 
or, as the word means, " places of fishing," plainly alluded 
to in the Gospels, but which the commentators could not 
locate. The western Bethsaida was at A in Tobigah. This was 
the place from which Philip came, and "the city of Andrew 
and Peter" (John i. 44); of which Christ said, "Woe unto 
thee, Chorazin ! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!" (Matt xi. 21; 
Luke x. 13) ; and of which we read, when Christ was at the 
north-east of the Lake of Gennesareth, "He constrained His 
disciples to get into the boat and to go to the other side 
over against Bethsaida." (Mark vi. 45.) The splendid ruins 
of Chorazin are about two miles and a half to the north of it. 
The eastern Bethsaida stood somewhat back from the shore 
near to where the Jordan enters the lake. Here Christ gave 
sight to the blind man who saw at first "men as trees 
walking" (Mark viii. 22-26); and here, in "a desert place 
belonging to the city called Bethsaida," the Lord fed the five 
thousand. (Luke ix. 10-17.) Later on Philip the Tetrarch 
rebuilt and adorned this Bethsaida, and called it Julias after 
the daughter of the Roman Emperor. 

There are three ordinary methods of fishing from the 
shore when the shoals come to Ain Tabigah, or to where 
the Jordan enters the lake. One of these is by a line with 
baited hooks — fly-fishing is unknown in the East. Isaiah 
speaks of "all that cast a hook into a stream." When 
miraculously providing the money to pay the half-shekel, 
or two drachmas (one shilling and threepence), the " re- 
demption money," for Himself and Peter, one of the most 
astounding of all His miracles, the Lord said, " Go thou 

140 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first 
comes up ; and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou 
shalt find a stater [a coin equal to two half-shekels, two shillings 
and sixpence] : that take, and give unto them for Me and 
thee." (Ex. xxx. 11-16; Matt. xvii. 27.) 

Another way of fishing is by the cast net, the aniphi- 
bleestron of the New Testament. This net is in the form of 
a bag, coming to a point at the bottom, to which a long 
rope is attached. It has a mouth about three feet in diameter, 
with weights around it which keep it open when thrown, and 
close it when it sinks through the water. Sometimes this is 
used from a boat. When used from the shore, the fisherman 
wades or swims in, and throws it with great dexterity to a 
considerable distance, and then draws it in by the rope. This 
was the net that Simon and Andrew were employing when 
Jesus called them to follow Him and become " fishers of 
men." (Matt. iv. 18; Mark i. 16.) 

There was evidently a very large form of this cast net, 
called in the New Testament diktuon, too heavy to be thrown 
to a distance, which was used from the side of a boat when 
the fishermen found themselves in the midst of a shoal. It 
is mentioned as employed under these very circumstances 
when our Lord bid Peter and his fellow fishermen "cast the 
net [diktuon] at the right side of the boat," and they obtained 
an immense haul, 153 great fishes, and (which seems a part of 
the miracle) the diktuon remained unbroken. (John xxi. 6-11.) 

A third common mode of fishing, sometimes from 
the shore, but more often from the boats, is with a long 
seine net, the drag or draw net, like our own, with floats at 
the top and weights below. This is once mentioned, the 
sagene (from which Greek word our name " seine " comes), 
as the net drawing great numbers of fish of all kinds, good 
and bad, to which the Kingdom of Heaven, in the sense of 
the professing Church, is compared. (Matt. xiii. 47.) 

Fishing in the Lake of Galilee 141 

Fishing by the boats is mainly done at night. The seine 
net is put out on the lake, and two or three of the boats, 
with flares of oiled rag burning in an iron cage in the bow, 
the fishermen making a loud noise by beating old metal 
pans together, drive the fish towards the net. This is the 
usual method of fishing away from the shore, and it can only 
be done at night. Hence the great trial to their faith, in the 
case of those experienced Galilean fishers, who, "having 
laboured all night and taken nothing," were bidden by the 
Master, now that it was day, to " put back to the deep," 
and let down their "great cast nets [diktuon] for a draught." 
But they obeyed, and found themselves at once in the midst 
of a vast shoal, so that the over- full diktuon was broken in 
pulling it in; and, notwithstanding this, the haul filled two 
boats, so as nearly to sink them. (Luke v. 4-6.) 

The boats are usually manned by four to six men, 
and boast a single sail. They are pointed at the stern as 
well as at the bow, and have a covered, cabin-like, small 
deck shelter at the stern. This extends for a few feet, and 
is open at the side facing the bow, where the fishermen, 
when off their watch, can get some protection from the 
weather, and rest their wearied heads, or, rather, the nape 
of their necks, on the tiny, hard, stuffed leather roll, about 
a foot long and four to five inches in diameter, which they 
employ as a pillow. 

It was here, and in this way, that the Lord rested during 
a great storm ; for, sheltered to some extent from the violence 
of winds and waves, "He Himself was upon the stern, upon 
the pillow sleeping." (Mark iv. 38.) 

Sir Charles Wilson thus describes one of these sudden 
storms. "The morning," he writes, "was delightful; a 
gentle, easterly breeze, and not a cloud in the sky to 
give warning of what was coming. Suddenly, about mid- 
day, there was a sound of distant thunder, and a small 

142 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

cloud, ' no bigger than a man's hand/ was seen rising 
over the heights of Lubeik, to the west. In a few 
moments the cloud had spread, and heavy black masses 
came rolling down the hills towards the lake, completely 
obscuring Tiberias and Hattin. At this moment the breeze 
died away ; there were a few moments of perfect calm, 
during which the sun shone out with intense power, and 
the surface of the lake was smooth and even as a mirror. 
Tiberias and Mejdel stood out in sharp relief from the 
gloom behind, but they were soon lost sight of as the 
thunder gust swept past them and, rapidly advancing across 
the lake, lifted the placid waters into a bright sheet of 
foam. In another moment it reached the ruins of Gamala, 
on the eastern hills, driving my companion and me to 
take refuge in a cistern, where for nearly an hour we 
were confined, listening to the rattling peals of thunder 
and torrents of rain. The effect of half the lake in perfect 
rest, w r hile the other half was in wild confusion was 
extremely impressive. It would have fared ill with any 
light craft caught in mid-lake by the storm, and we could 
not help thinking of that memorable occasion on which 
the storm is so graphically described as ' coming down ' 
upon the lake." 

Road Scene 
near Nazareth 

Road Scene near Nazareth 

IN my time, as already explained, there was not one road 
properly made and kept throughout the whole of Pales- 
tine, and it was evidently the same in Bible times, except 
for the brief period that it was held by those master road- 
makers the Romans. 

An intensely interesting papyrus, dating from about the 
fourteenth century before Christ, recording the travels in his 
chariot of an Egyptian official, gives us a graphic description 
of the impassable state of the mountain roads, which might 
have been written in recent times. 1 Yet if any royal person is 
coming, orders are immediately issued to the various towns 
and villages to put their part of the highway in repair. 
This costs the Government nothing, for it is done, and always 
has been, in these despotic lands, by means of the corvee, 
or forced labour. In this way I have repeatedly seen hun- 
dreds of miles of roads made perfectly smooth in order that 
a royal person might pass over them once ; when the im- 
portant visitor has gone, nothing more is done to the roads, 
and within a few weeks they have fallen into the normal state 
of ruin ! 

This is the allusion of the proclamation given in Isaiah Ixii. 
10, 11:— 

" Pass ye, pass ye through the gates ; 
Prepare ye the road of the people ; 
Cast up, cast up the highway ; 
Clear away the stones ; . . . 

1 Records of the Past, vol. ii., pp. 107-16. 
K 145 

146 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

Say ye to the daughter of Zion, 
' Behold, thy salvation cometh.' " 

Here the coming of Christ is foretold, and the preparation 
for the advent of Israel's Divine King commanded, under 
the striking figure of the usual orders issued to make ready 
the highway for a royal procession. The Gentile nations are 
directed to pass out of the gates of their cities in order to 
remove all obstacles from His way, and to prepare the road 
of the Lord, and make His paths straight, by repentance 
and faith. 

The road shown in the illustration is that running towards 
the east from the village of Nazareth, which is seen, in the 
light of early morning, lying in the background of the picture, 
to the right. 

In the front of our picture is shown one of the belladeen, 
or townspeople, to be easily distinguished by his kumbaz, 
or silk dressing-gown-like inner robe, and his bright-coloured 
fur-lined cloth cloak, the jibbeh, or beneesh, and his silk scarf 

Even when the weather is at fever heat, the townsman, 
when in full dress, wears his fur-lined cloak, and on the 
hot maritime plains it is sometimes 116° Fahr. in the 
shade ! 

In so doing they are right, for what in this way 
keeps them warm in winter equally keeps them cool in 
summer. Air is the best non-conductor of heat of all known 
elements. A fur-lined cloth robe keeps air in abundance all 
round the body, which is thus prevented from parting with 
its heat in cold weather, and from being scorched by the 
higher temperature without in summer. Thus the principle, 
taught in quite recent times by Dr. Jaeger, and embodied in 
his clothing, has been acted upon in the East from the dawn 
of time ; for, in sending them forth from Eden, " Jehovah 
God made for Adam and his wife coats of skins and clothed 

Road Scene near Nazareth 147 

them," doubtless teaching them to wear the fur inside as a 
lining. (Gen. iii. 21.) 

Our townsman here is an ordinary civilian, and yet it 
will be seen that he is heavily armed. No wonder that in 
Scripture we have, what seems to us, such unnatural fre- 
quency in reference to weapons of war; for in the five books 
of Psalms, out of fourteen classes of illustration, arms and 
armour come third in order of frequency. To the present 
day in Palestine almost every man goes about armed, and 
when travelling is often armed to the teeth. The prevalence 
of dangerous wild beasts — lions, bears, leopards, wolves, etc. 
— and the constant exposure to bedaween raids and bands of 
robbers, have always necessitated this practice. Often a 
fellahh, cultivating the fields, may be seen with the plough 
in one hand and a gun in the other. 

Hence the vast armies that could at any time be gathered 
together by the kings of Israel and Judah, all the people 
possessing arms, and all of them being more or less expert 
in their use ; and it was the same with the surrounding 
nations. It must indeed have been a wretched state of 
bondage, when, in the days of Saul, they were so thoroughly 
disarmed by the Philistines that " there was neither sword 
nor spear found in the hand of any of the people." (1 Sam. 
xiii. 19-22.) 

This explains our Lord's words, when, in one of His last 
discourses, He announced to His disciples that, after His 
death, they would not be sent out as formerly under miracu- 
lous provision and protection ; but that, in taking their mis- 
sionary journeys, they were henceforth to make the ordinary, 
lawful, and necessary arrangements for travelling. *' Now, he 
that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a leathern 
bag; and he that hath none, let him sell his cloak, and buy 
a sword. . . . And they said, ' Lord, behold, here are two 
swords.' And He said unto them, 'It is enough.'' Strange 

148 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

as it seems to us, our Lord's command to His disciples on 
this occasion to carry a sword is only a figurative way of say- 
ing, "Take now the usual precautions which all prudent 
people employ when setting out upon a journey." (Luke 
xxii. 35-38.) 

A closely veiled belladah, or townswoman, is seen riding 
an ass. She is clad in the azar, or white sheet, in which 
townswomen are entirely wrapped when out of doors ; and 
her face is concealed by a dark-patterned muslin mandeel, or 

Like all Eastern women, she sits astride, and we see 
from pictures on the monuments that it was the same 
4,000 years ago. Women usually ride asses in Bible lands, 
strong and spirited animals some of them, which have been 
bred from wild asses, and are often as costly as horses. They 
are always accompanied by a man on foot, who acts as 

He walks on the left side of the ass, with his right 
hand laid on its left hind-quarters, and with his left grasp- 
ing a short, pointed wooden stick, with which from time to 
time he prods the animal to drive it on. At the same time 
he utters constant profane cries of " Yallah" a contraction of 
"Ya Allah!" ("O God!"), which travellers — grave and 
reverend travellers, too — mistaking for an innocent exclama- 
tion, often get into the habit of using to urge on their steeds, 
and so go swearing all through the country ! 

When the "great woman" of Shunem, that is, the 
"wealthy woman," probably the wife of the village sheikh, 
was eager to reach the prophet Elisha, strong in the faith 
that he could raise her dead little son to life, she said to 
her husband, "Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, 
and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God 
and come back." (2 Kings iv. 22.) In the Orient they 
always say, not simply, "I go," or, "I am going," as we 

Road Scene near Nazareth 149 

should; but "I go and return," or, "I go and come back." 
Thus Abraham said to his servants, of himself and Isaac, "I 
and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again 
unto you." (Gen. xxii. 5.) Solemn in this connection is 
Job's figure of periphrasis for death : — 

" When a few years are come, 
Then I go the way I shall not return." (Job xvi. 22.) 

In what a truly Eastern form are those comforting words 
of the Lord Christ, spoken to His sorrowing disciples: "Ye 
have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again 
unto you," meaning, "This is only like an ordinary journey ; 
I am not bidding you farewell ; you will soon see Me again." 1 
(John xiv. 28; see also verse 3.) 

When her husband sent a servant with an ass, the great 
woman of Shunem said to this man who came to act as 
groom, "Drive and go forward; slack not riding for me, 
except I bid thee." Few things in the Bible, where so 
much is strange, seemed stranger to me, when I was 
young, than this order to the youth to "drive," when his 
mistress was going out riding. But I had countless oppor- 
tunities in Palestine, in later years, of seeing grooms on foot 
thus driving— pushing the ass on with their right hand and 
prodding it on with the small goad in their left ! (2 Kings 
iv. 24.) 

The woman in the indigo blue robe, girded— that is, 
tucked into her crimson girdle, so as to leave her limbs free 
for work— with her large white cotton cloth veil, is at once 
distinguished by her dress as a fellahhah, or villager. She 
is heavily loaded; for she has her young child slung in a 
scarf across her back, a basket of eggs in her right hand, 
and a basket-like tray of bananas on her head. Yet she is 
tramping on foot, while the fellahh—l was going to say her 

1 Pictured Palestine, 5th edition, pp. 170-76. 


Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

husband, but more correctly her lord and master— in his white 
cotton shirt, or kamise, club in hand, with nothing to carry, 
rides at his ease on his ass ! This is part of the spirit of the 
East, and has ever been the same ; and shows to the life the 
position of woman, more or less man's drudge and slave, till 
the Gospel comes to raise her. 

The Jaffa Gate 
of Jerusalem 

The Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem 

THE Jaffa, or Joppa, gate of Jerusalem, in the west wall 
of the city, is its principal gate, where the market for 
fruits and vegetables is held outside, "in a void [or 
empty] place," which is always kept in this situation at the 
entrance of towns. Like all gates of Eastern cities, it is arched 
overhead, and consists of two leaves. Isaiah foretold that 
Jehovah would open before Cyrus " the two-leaved gates " at 
Babylon. Herodotus says that many of these, on the quays on 
either side of the river which ran through the city, were carelessly 
left open the night Cyrus took Babylon by turning aside the 
river to the north and entering along its dry bed. (Isa. xlv. 1.) 

All cities in Bible lands have lofty walls ; and in these 
walls are several wide, high gates, made of heavy timbers, and 
protected on the outside with iron plates riveted on to them. 
It was the same in the Middle Ages with our English cities. 
Inside the gate two massive iron bars, hooked at one end, 
are chained respectively to two strong posts, built into the 
wall behind each "leaf" of the gate. When it is shut for the 
night, as it is throughout the East at sunset, the hooks of these 
bars are put through heavy iron rings on the back of the 
"leaves," enabling very great pressure from without to be 
resisted. They have also massive locks of wrought iron, opened 
by a heavy, long-handled key, carried by the keeper of the gate 
in his belt, or hung on a nail in his adjacent little room, or 
porter's lodge. We read of "fenced cities with walls, two- 
leaved doors, and bar." (2 Chron. viii. 5.) 

In ancient times the plates of these doors were often of 


154 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

copper (nehhoashah) , the " brass " of our Bible, which was 
rendered harder than steel by a process now lost. Hence 
"copper" is rightly spoken of as the hardest metal in the 
Bible ; and this is why it was used for the sockets and pins for 
the Tabernacle boards, for the altar of burnt offering and 
its vessels, and for the laver. Goliath's heavy, formidable 
armour was all of copper. The doors of the great court of 
the Temple of Solomon were " overlaid with copper." We read, 
too, of the "gates [or 'doors'] of copper," and of Babylon's 
" two-leaved doors of copper." Sometimes the bars of such 
a gate were also of copper. In Jerusalem the outer prison gate 
had plates of iron, for it is called a " gate of iron," and the huge 
structure opened miraculously to Peter " of its own accord," 
which would include the unlocking and unhooking of the 
"bars." These bars of iron are often mentioned. We read, 
"He strengthens the bars of thy gates " ; and again, "Two- 
leaved doors of copper I will shiver, and bars of iron I will 
cut asunder." (Isa. xlv. 2.) 

This accounts for the burning of the doors of these gates, 
for, though said to be of copper or iron, they are only, as 
we have seen, plated with these metals, so that when the 
stout wooden timbers are burnt the plates fall off and 
leave them unprotected. Hence the threat, " To thine enemies 
have been thoroughly opened the gates of thy land : fire has 
consumed thy bars," that is, the wooden posts to which they 
are attached. (Nah. iii. 13.) 

Of Samson's tremendous feat we read, "He laid hold 
on the doors of the gate of the city, and on the two side 
posts, and removed them with the bar ' [that is, the bar 
attached to each post — two bars], and carried them up to 
"the top of a hill in Hebron," some forty miles away. 
(Jud. xvi. 3.) 

There is generally a tower occupied by guards, some- 
times two, one on each side of the gate, used not only as 

The Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem 155 

a guardroom, but also as a watch-tower. The covered, 
built-over porch on the inside of the gate, with a cafe generally 
close by, is a cool, favourite place of resort of the townsmen, 
where contracts are entered into and other public transactions 
take place. Here persons of importance come and take an 
honoured place. Here, too, Absalom came to meet and disaffect 
the masses. And here David, with breaking heart, at Joab's 
bidding, sat to show himself to the people. Judges sit and 
courts are held at these gates, generally in " the void place " 
outside them, and punishments take place there ; and it was 
so of old. (2 Sam. xv. 2, xix. 8; Deut. xxi. 19, xxii. 15, 24, 
xxv. 7 ; Josh. xx. 4.) 

In all Eastern cities there are some small, low, incon- 
spicuous, one-leaved gates, hidden away in retired corners, 
only opened to those who knock by day, and rigorously kept 
shut all night. A narrow and but little frequented path leads 
to them, and it requires diligent searching to find it. This 
no doubt explains the parable used by our Lord of the wide 
and narrow entrances: "Go ye through the narrow gate, 
because wide is the gate and broad is the way that is leading 
to destruction, and many are those going in through it : how 
narrow is the gate, and how constricted the way that is lead- 
ing to life, and few are those finding it! " (Matt. vii. 13, 14.) 

In one of the two leaves of the city gate there is a small 
door, often only three feet high and narrow in proportion, 
opening a foot and a half to two feet from the ground, which 
is left open for an hour or two after sunset to accommodate 
foot passengers, and which for a backsheesh, or present, may 
be entered even later, but not to admit animals. It is not, 
as some have supposed, " the eye of a needle," for it is 
never so called by Arabs, and camels never pass through it. 
Therefore, the words, "It is easier for a camel to go through 
the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the 
kingdom of God" — that is, as our Lord explains, one "who 

156 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

trusts in riches" — must be taken literally, and as representing, 
not a difficult matter, but an utter impossibility. Nor can 
this tiny door in the large leaf of a public gate be "the narrow 
gate" of Matt. vii. 13, because, equally with "the wide gate" 
of which it is a part, it leads to a "wide" and not a "con- 
stricted" way, and it is a door only used after dark. (Matt. 
xix. 24; Mark x. 23-27.) 

In our picture, on the left of the gate, may be seen the 
scribe of the Orient. As the great mass of the people can 
neither read nor write, he is, and must always have been, a 
very important person. In his girdle is "the writer's ink- 
horn," or rather " cup-like ink pot " (keseth), generally of brass, 
still carried "in his loins," that is, "in the girdle round his 
loins," by a long handle, in which is kept "the pen of the 
scribe," consisting of a thin, pointed reed. A veiled towns- 
woman is dictating a letter to him in whispered words. A page 
of profuse Oriental compliments he will put in out of his own 
head, if he is well paid. The "scribes" of the New Testa- 
ment were the learned class ; and even the humbler ones, 
such as he who is shown in this picture, must have been 
important persons, as possessing the secrets of those who 
employed them. Of the "honoured ones" and "mighty" 
who flocked to the standard of Deborah and Barak, there 
came out of Zebulun those " handling the club [shaivet, that is, 
' the authority' or ' chiefdom '] of the scribe." (Jud. v. 14.) 

A peasant is seen taking firewood into the city to sell, 
packed in the panniers of an ass ; and he is violently pro- 
testing against a soldier's forcibly taking some of it away. 
There are always soldiers at these gates to protect the officers 
of the tax-farmers who take the octroi duty, a tax of one- 
eighth of the value on certain articles of produce, when 
they enter a town. The collector of taxes has a long, thin, 
sharp-pointed, iron rod, which he drives into the large camel 
bags of wheat, barley, crushed straw, cotton, etc., in order 

The Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem 157 

to discover if they contain copper-ware, or other contraband. 
Matthew, also called Levi, " sitting at the gate of toll," was 
such a tax-farmer's assistant, one of the humbler publicum, or 
" publicans," just as Zacchseus was apparently a tax-farmer him- 
self, the wealthy purchaser of the tax of the district. Much 
extortion and oppression goes on throughout the East in all 
matters of taxation, and the soldiers who assist and protect 
the tax-collectors use robbery with violence on their own 
behalf, especially in the case of the poor fellahheen, who have 
none to protect them. (Luke iii. 12-14.) 

The picture shows the baker's boy, with his tray of thin 
pancake-like loaves of unleavened bread, and with it, as to 
this day is so often the case, pieces of fried fish. It was 
probably just such a lad as this who was used by our Lord 
in the miracle of feeding the five thousand. He had been 
plying his trade amongst the multitudes who, far from their 
homes, had gathered to hear the Saviour preach. Most of 
the contents of his tray would seem to have been disposed 
of when Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, brought him to Christ 
with the words, " There is a little lad who has five barley 
loaves and two small fishes ; but what are they among so 
many?" And, in the mighty hands of the Lord, they be- 
came enough, not only to feed the hungry crowds, but to 
leave over fragments sufficient to fill twelve baskets. 

These baskets, kophinoi, the modern Arabic guffee, are 
loose and collapsible, of the size and shape of the donkey's 
panniers shown in the picture filled with logs of wood. They 
are to this day the common baskets of the fellahheen, and are 
employed for so many purposes that among more than 5,000 
such men and women there would sure to be a dozen or so 
ready to hand. In the case of the feeding of the 4,000 men, 
when " they took up what remained of the broken [pieces] 
seven baskets full," the "basket," spuris, the strong, tall 
hamper of Palestine, was much larger. It was in such a 

158 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

"hamper" that Paul was let down over the wall of Da- 
mascus, when the governor of the city was trying to arrest 
him, and fanatical Jews were watching the gates day and 
night to kill him. In the account Paul himself gives of his 
escape it is called sagane, which seems to mean "net," 
either because it was a kind of spuris very loosely woven, or 
else because this "hamper" was put into a net-bag for the 
purpose of lowering the apostle down with greater safety. 
(Acts. ix. 25 ; 2 Cor. xi. 32, 33.) 

The baker is shown on the right of the picture carrying 
a tray-like basket of baked meats on his head, whilst a buzzard 
vulture is seen swooping down to seize some of the food. 
Thus it appeared in the vision that Pharaoh's chief baker 
had in the prison. 

An Oriental 
Bazaar Street 

An Oriental Bazaar Street 

OUR illustration shows a characteristic narrow and often 
arched-over street in an Oriental town. I have already 
pointed out that every feature of life in the Orient 
is the opposite of ours in the North-West, as these realistic 
and minutely accurate pictures so abundantly show. Just as 
our need of sunshine and light calls for broad roads and streets, 
wherever they can be afforded, so in Bible lands the great heat 
and glare for some seven months of the year require the pro- 
tection of narrow ways to keep roads and houses cool ; and so 
Ave must picture the streets mentioned in Holy Scripture. 

A consul is seen riding, preceded by his native cawass, 
or constable, a person of no little importance, who, as he walks 
along, strikes his elaborate official, iron-shod staff with ringing 
sound upon the pavement— for Oriental streets are rudely paved 
with stone. 

Observe the consul's white horse. People of importance 
in the East ride white animals as a mark of their dignity. 
White horses, white mules, and white asses are ridden in this 
way. It was so of old. "Speak, ye that ride on white asses," 
in Deborah's ode, is an appeal to people of rank and wealth. 
The royal dignity of the Son of God, the Divine Word, the 
many crowned King of Kings and Lords of Lords, and the 
glory of His retinue, are imaged in Revelation in this way: "I 
saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse ; and He Who 
is sitting upon it is called Faithful and True, . . . and 
the armies in heaven were following Him upon white horses " 
(Jud. v. 10; Rev. xix. 11-14.) 


162 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

In front, on the left, is seen a money-changer, or 
saraf, the simple banker of the East, though he is only a 
humble tradesman dealing in coin, who plies his trade in 
the open air. 

He has a small table, or boxlike stand, with a large, 
four-cornered, deep tray, divided into compartments, covered 
with a wire netting to protect the coins below. Saraf s are 
the money-lenders and usurers of the land, and often do business 
in a very dishonest way. It was the extortion of these sarafs, 
who get 60 and 70 per cent, interest on loans to the poor, 
that awoke Nehemiah's indignation. With ever-varying rates of 
exchange, and twenty different coinages in circulation, at every 
money-changing transaction they are able to take advantage 
of the people. 

It was such sarafs in Herod's Temple that Christ drove 
out. They were cheating then, and the priests, the Temple 
authorities, while well knowing their corrupt practices, no 
doubt, were receiving a high rent for allowing them their 
"seats" in the Court of the Gentiles. It was not trade 
carried on there, but dishonest trade, that made our Lord 
righteously angry when "He overthrew the tables of the 
money changers"; for He cried, "My house shall be called 
a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of robbers." 
(Matt. xxi. 13 ; Mark xi. 17.) 

Doubtless "the sellers of doves," the sacrifice of the poor, 
and of "oxen and sheep " were charging an extortionate price 
for these sacrifices, or else selling blemished animals and birds. 
For this, when He saw "those selling oxen and sheep and 
doves, and the changers of money sitting," the Saviour "cast 
out all those selling and buying in the Temple [courts] . . . 
and overthrew the seats of those selling doves." (John ii. 14; 
Matt. xxi. 12.) 

To this day, unlike our way, all work is done "sitting." 
The carpenter sits on the very board he is planing, and moves 

An Oriental Bazaar Street 163 

along it as the work goes on. The charwoman squats at her 
work. The shopkeeper sits all day long, though his customers 
stand. Thus we read of Matthew, as "tax-collector," that 
he was "sitting at the place of toll." It is said, in metaphor, 
of the Most High, " He shall sit a refiner and purifier of 
silver " ; so in our picture we see the jeweller sitting over his 
melting pot, the while he blows the flame to a greater heat. 
The beauty of this figure is that the refiner looks into the 
open furnace, or pot, and knows that the process of purifying 
is complete, and the dross all burnt away, when he can see 
his image plainly reflected in the molten metal. (Matt ix. 9- 
Mark ii. 14 ; Mai. iii. 3.) 

Throughout the East a special kind of jewellery is made, 
jewellery fashioned from gold or silver mixed with the least 
possible alloy. Bangles are made in this way, with scarcely 
any workmanship, worth ^"30 or more, their value consisting 
alone of the weight of the precious metal. Though solid and 
of considerable thickness, so malleable is the gold that these 
stout coils easily admit of being unbent by a lady's fingers, 
so as to be placed round the wrist or ankle, and removed in 
the same way. The metal, because it is so pure, is too soft 
to admit of any highly wrought work. 

In the metal-workers' bazaar of Cairo, a purchaser takes 
this massive, highly prized jewellery to an assay officer, who 
is always in attendance at this bazaar. He submits it to 
tests, and then, if it is genuine, gives a written certificate 
stating it to be of "pure gold" or "pure silver," as the 
case may be. 

Thus in Scripture we read that the vessels of Solomon's 
splendid palace, "The House of the Forest of Lebanon"— 
or, as we should say, " Cedar House "—were of "pure gold." 
(2 Chron. ix. 17-20.) Job says the price of Divine wisdom 
"is above pearls," and cannot be weighed with "pure gold." 
(Job xxviii. 18, 19.) Of God's Anointed, the psalmist says, 

1 64 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

"Thou hast set a crown of pure gold on His head." 
(Ps. xxi. 3.) Of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, it is said, 
"The city was pure gold," and even its broad street shone 
with a like splendour. (Rev. xxi. 18, 21.) 

A " seller of doves" is seen in the centre of the picture. 
The street cries are a great feature of Bible lands, and 
though uttered by quite ignorant people, who can neither 
read nor write, are graceful, poetical, and witty in the highest 
degree ; they are part of that exquisite refinement and good 
taste that pervades the East from the highest to the lowest, 
and is so well reflected in all the stories and sayings of the 
Bible. I have given elsewhere examples of these exquisitely 
beautiful cries of Palestine street hawkers. 1 

A shoemaker's shop is shown to the right. He works 
mostly in morocco leather, "rams' skins dyed red," or natural 
coloured leather, for the fellahheen, the villagers ; and in yellow 
leather, dark purple, or black, for townspeople, belladeen. The 
fellahheen, when at work or in their homes — men, women, and 
children — go about barefoot ; but when dressed in their best 
clothes may often be seen carrying a pair of shoes in their hands, 
and sometimes wearing them on their feet. A heavy, clumsy, 
red morocco top boot with an iron heel is worn when riding ; 
but a rich man in this case is accompanied by a servant or 
slave carrying his shoes, and this is the allusion when John 
the Baptist says of his Lord, "Whose shoes I am not worthy 
to carry." 

Walking barefoot is a sign of poverty, or of mourning, 
being a mark of fellahheen or working men. The ordinary 
sandals of the bedaween are mostly worn in the desert, but 
one kind is worn among the fellahheen, especially in Syria 
and Asia Minor, consisting of a piece of strong untanned skin 
(wild boar is preferred for this by the Christians on account 
of its strength, whilst the Muslim use buffalo from religious 

1 Strange Figures, pp. 1-3. Simpkin, Marshall & Co. 

An Oriental Bazaar Street 165 

scruples), cut somewhat larger than the sole of the foot, and 
fastened to it by strings or thongs of leather, much in the 
same way as the ordinary sandal. The boots and shoes of the 
East have pointed, turned-up toes and are broad at the heel, 
and are all ready made and fit loosely. An ordinary sandal is 
a thing of trifling value, and a pair of ordinary red morocco 
shoes can be bought for as low a sum as two shillings. For 
this miserable price the transgressors in Israel betrayed the 
helpless — as we are told "they sold the poor for a pair of 
shoes." (Amos ii. 6; viii. 6.) 

In the larger cities, such as Constantinople, Damascus, 
Cairo, Alexandria, and Bagdad — and anciently, no doubt, it was 
the same in the palmy days of Jerusalem, Tyre, Samaria, 
Babylon, Nineveh, and many another Bible city — the princi- 
pal shops are all enclosed in a quarter of considerable size 
called a bazar or bezesten, devoted entirely to purposes of 

' This space is cut up into narrow, short streets, each of 
which consists of a fireproof stone building, open at both ends, 
with the street running through it covered by an arched roof, 
pierced with windows to let in the light." The streets are 
lined on each side by the shops I have described, though 
some are much larger, and each thoroughfare is exclusively 
occupied by a particular trade. "The most valuable goods 
occupy the most solid structures, which are closed at each 
end at night." 

Around the bazar extends the rest of the sook (the Greek 
agora, or " market place "), with a number of humbler and less 
protected shops, and this extensive surrounding network of 
streets of small tradesmen is not, like the bazaar itself, pro- 
vided with gates. 

Thus Josephus speaks of the place at Jerusalem where 
were "the merchants of wool, the braziers, and the market 
for cloth." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, bk. v. ch. vii. 

166 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

sec. 1.) It was so in Jeremiah's day, for King Zedekiah 
commanded that the prophet, when thrown into prison, 
should be "given a cake of bread daily from the bakers' 
street." (Jer. xxxvii. 21.) Short streets were thus confined 
to the same trade with us in the Middle Ages, and probably 
on to the sixteenth century. 

The Water-Seller 


Palestine Town Life 

The Water-Seller and Palestine Town Life 

IN the centre of the picture stands the sakkah, the water- 
seller, that characteristic and peculiarly Oriental street 

vendor. But how different in manner, dress, and lan- 
guage from our street hawkers is this true representative of 
the graceful East ! It is difficult, nay, impossible, to realise, 
in a moist and temperate country, the scarceness and precious- 
ness of water in a very dry, sub-tropical climate, like that of 
Palestine, and one where the mass of the people drink 
nothing else. The springs are few and far between ; but 
many of them supply the purest and most delicious water. 
For its full enjoyment, and, indeed, for the purposes of 
health, it is doubly important to drink it cold as it comes 
from these deep, limestone, natural fountains. To the parched 
and weary traveller, who has often, in and around the Holy 
Land, to travel twenty miles and more in the driest parts of 
the year, before he can reach a supply, such a draught of 
"living [that is, 'spring'] water" is unspeakably precious; 
and so, too, it is when, towards the end of the hot season, 
water runs short in the towns. 

When our Lord sent out His twelve poor apostles on 
their preaching and miracle-working missionary journey, it is 
certain that they would have to tramp on foot through many 
a weary mile, as they went to the countless cities and towns 
of Galilee ; and these itinerating labours would no doubt 
be undertaken in the seven to eight months of hot, dry 
weather, commencing towards the close of April, because of 
the facilities of travel at that time. But we are actually told, 


i7° Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

indirectly, that this was the time of year. From Matt. xi. 1, 2 
it appears that, just as Christ's twelve apostles received the 
command to go forth, John sent two of his disciples to 
Christ, and on their departure the Lord spoke the dis- 
course in that chapter; and then immediately we read: "At 
that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the 
corn, and His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck 
ears of corn, and to eat"; and this fixes the season as May, 
the time when corn is first ripe, and when great heat and 
drought set in, to last unbroken for the next six months. 
(Matt. xii. 1.) 

How welcome, and how necessary, on many a scorching 
day, would be a draught of spring water, often more to be 
desired than the most elaborate or expensive entertainment 
by these simple peasant preachers, who, in the eyes of the 
Eastern world, were indeed but helpless "little ones"! How 
real and full of meaning, when read in the light of the Holy 
Land, is the Saviour's suggestive promise, as He first sends 
them forth : " Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of 
these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a 
disciple [that is, because they had the Lord Jesus as their 
Teacher], verily, I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose 
his reward " ! 

In India, and, no doubt, it was anciently the same 
amongst the pagan nations surrounding Israel, idolaters will 
often fetch water from far, and stand all day on the burning 
highways, offering it freely to passers-by, in honour of 
their gods. This heathen custom lends peculiar force to the 
Saviour's words that whosoever should give them a cup of 
water in His Name should not go unrewarded. (Matt. x. 42; 
Mark ix. 41.) 

The vessel in which the water is carried is of porous 
clay, and so, by evaporation, keeps the water cool in the 
hottest weather. By a pitching movement the water-seller 

Palestine Town Life *7* 

pours it skilfully over his shoulder out of the long spout 
into one of the two metal cups of ancient pattern, such as 
we see on Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures, which he carries 
in his hands. As he passes along, tinkling these cups to- 
gether to announce his coming, he cries, " Ho, ye thirsty 
ones, come ye and drink," and on a burning day sells 
many a draught of cold water to eager purchasers, water that 
he has brought from some distant famous spring. (Isa. lv. 1 ; 
John iv. 14; Rev. xxii. 17.) 

The youth clothed in the zouave jacket, the belladeen cos- 
tume described under " Evening at the Well," seated on the 
ground cross-legged, with his feet tucked under him — the 
universal way of sitting in the East — is seen drinking water out 
of the Hebrew bakbook, the earthenware drinking water bottle 
of the Orient, so called because, on account of its narrow 
neck, the water, when poured out, comes with just this 
gurgling sound, " bakbook, bakbook." Many things and 
animals derive their Biblical Hebrew names in this way 
from the sounds they emit. This is called onomatopoeia — 
where words are formed in imitation of the sounds made by 
the things signified — and many English words have been 
so formed, such as " crash," " buzz," etc. The vessel 
is always held about a foot away from the mouth, and, in 
this delicate and exquisitely graceful manner, any number of 
people can drink in succession without touching the bottle 
with their lips. 

Though women are so rigidly secluded, the Orient, in 
the case of men, knows little of privacy; and this character- 
istic feature is constantly presented to us in Bible story. 
Life is lived in the open, as so many curious Scriptural 
allusions imply. Thus the barber's tiny shop and the opera- 
tions there, as seen in our picture, are plain to all passers-by. 
In Bible lands the head is closely shaved ; but a razor is 
never allowed to touch the face. It is a mark of shame to 

i7 2 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

have the beard shaved, and hence the terrible insult offered by 
the king of Ammon to David's ambassadors. When we read 
that Absalom annually polled his head — that is, had his hair cut 
— it must have been the hair of this vain young man's long 
flowing beard that weighed 30 royal shekels, or about five to 
six ounces. In our Versions, which follow the Hebrew text, 
it says Absalom's hair weighed " 200 shekels." This, unless it 
was a miraculous and most disfiguring growth (and we are 
told Absalom was pre-eminent ''for his beauty"), it could 
not have done ; for hairdressers tell us the heaviest head of 
woman's hair does not weigh more than seven ounces, or 
about a sixth part of that weight. The true explanation, no 
doubt, is that an error has crept into the text, through the 
scribes mistaking the letter ^, the Hebrew " /," which stands 
for the numeral 30, for the letter % the Hebrew "r," which 
stands for the numeral 200. (2 Sam. xiv. 25, 26.) 

The cage, or crate, crowded with fowls is a common 
sight in the market place of Palestine towns, and illustrates 
the reproach of Jeremiah — 

" Like a cage full of fowls, 
So are their houses full of deceit." (Jer. v. 2j.) 

On the left of the picture a man is seen chastising a 
boy in a characteristic method of the East. Where we 
should " box the ears," they strike the neck with the edge 
of the palm of the hand — a not less painful, but much safer, 
mode of punishment. 

The poles shown to the right of the picture, those com- 
monly used for so many purposes in Palestine, are the stems 
of the elegant Jordan reed, Anindo donax, alluded to by our 
Lord, when, speaking of the people flocking to hear John the 
Baptist preaching by the Jordan, He cried: " What went ye out 
into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind?" 
These reeds furnish strong, serviceable poles, from twelve to 

Palestine Town Life *73 

fifteen feet high. No doubt it was one of these reeds which 
was held up to the dying Saviour's lips with the sponge full 
of the Roman soldiers' vinegar-like wine. The sponge would 
be held in its place by the numerous recurved spines of a 
bunch of hyssop, the caper plant (Caparis spinosa). (Luke 
vii. 24; John xix. 28-30; Matt, xxvii. 48.) 

To the left of the picture a typical Eastern shop is shown, 
with the shopkeeper, as usual, comfortably seated squatting 
on his heels on the floor, while the customer — a fellahhah, or 
village woman, with a child slung across her back — stands in 
front. The Oriental shop, or dukkan, has its floor about 
two feet six inches above the ground, and is little more than 
a huge wooden box, open all down the front, about six to 
seven feet high, six to ten feet wide, and three to six feet 

Townswomen seldom, if ever, go shopping, the work 
of buying falling entirely to men. The shopkeeper often 
invites a well-known customer to come and sit beside him 
on the floor, furnishes him with a pipe, and invites him to 
drink a cup of coffee. When asked the price of an article, 
he will say, just as of old did Ephron the Hittite, " Take it, 
my lord, it is thine, I give it thee ; what is money between 
thee and me?" Notwithstanding all this initial politeness, 
the completion of a purchase is a long and weary affair. 
The shopkeeper demands twice as much as he expects to 
receive, and the would-be purchaser offers half of what the 
thing is worth. 

Bargaining goes on for half an hour or more, and 
passers-by, though complete strangers, join in the disputa- 
tion, some taking the side of the shopkeeper, and some 
that of the customer, until, amidst much vociferation and 
excitement, by mutual approaches, the middle price is 
reached. It was so of old. " Bad, bad, says the buyer," 
and he does so very energetically ; but, by and by, to his 

i74 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

friends, "going his way, then he boasts himself" of procur- 
ing it so cheaply ; and often not without reason, for many 
an Oriental shopkeeper will sell as low as for one per cent, 
profit rather than lose a sale. These tradesmen take life in 
a very easy, not to say lordly, manner. For though cus- 
tomers are still coming, one of them will often, quite early 
in the afternoon, shut up his shop, and announce that he 
will not sell anything more that day ! (Prov. xx. 14.) 

The 'Atal, 

or Burden-Bearer 

The 'Atal, or Burden-Bearer 

IN this street in Jerusalem is presented a very familiar 
Oriental town scene. The central figure is the ' atal or 

hammal, the porter or burden - bearer. The narrow 
streets and the absence of carts call for the services of these 
'atals. The weights they can lift, and under which they can 
stagger along for miles, are truly amazing. I have seen 
them carry loads three times larger and heavier than that 
pictured here ! 

Their sole stock in trade is a rope about five yards long 
with a knot at one end. The 'atal, when taking up his load, 
crouches down with his back against the heaped-up articles, 
and having skilfully arranged his rope, without any ties, so as 
to catch and sustain them all, he rises up with a sudden spring, 
and brings the whole weight to bear upon his shoulders and 
the upper part of his back. In this effort to rise, the 'atals 
have a practice of emptying their lungs by the expiration of 
breath in a loud grunt. This is a trick of those engaged in 
lifting labour the world over, when in the act of putting 
their system to a sudden and violent strain. But for the 
relief afforded to blood - pressure by this expiration of air, 
they would at such times be in imminent danger of breaking 
a blood-vessel. 

The work of the burden-bearer is not only terribly hard, 
but fraught with great danger should he slip and fall. Surely 
this gives us the metaphor of the "burden" applied in Holy 
Scripture to grievous distresses. Thus Moses complains to 
God, "Thou layest the burden of all this people upon me," 

M 177 

178 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

in allusion to the crushing weight of responsibility and 
labour of ruling, in their desert march, the helpless and 
thankless crowds of Israel. In the prophets the "burden" 
is used as a metaphor for "heavy judgments." 

Often have I seen the porter's huge load reaching far 
over his head, which he has had to hold down on this 
account in a bowed and painful position, and in such case, 
should he fall, he would inevitably break his neck. Whilst 
excessively heavy burdens can be taken up by an 'atal, he 
cannot lay them down, but has to have them helped off him 
by another. 

What a light this throws on David's cry of anguish:— 

" My iniquities are gone over my head ; 
Like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me." (Ps. xxxviii. 4.) 

It was from these words that Bunyan, in his "Pilgrim's 
Progress," took the idea of Christian starting out on pilgrim- 
age with an awful burden on his back, making life intolerable. 
Yet the reader will have noticed that, in most illustrations of 
this subject, Christian is shown with a small, light bundle 
strapped to his shoulders, that any strong boy or girl could 
carry any distance without distress. Different, indeed, was 
the familiar picture that rose before David, when he felt his 
spirit wearied and burdened beyond measure by a deep con- 
viction of sin, from which he was powerless to deliver himself, 
which made life intolerable by its weight, and which, if he 
fell under it, must kill him. 

Our blessed Lord has a plain and even more graphic 
reference to the toil of the 'atal, when, speaking of the cruel 
and oppressive ceremonial traditions forced upon the people, 
contrary to Scripture, by the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees', 
He says that these spiritual taskmasters " bind heavy burdens 
and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men's shoulders ; 
but they [themselves] will not move them with their finger." 

The 'Atal, or Burden-Bearer 179 

In beautiful contrast to such wearisome and unscriptural 
observances, that only tend to bondage and oppression, the 
Master declares, "My burden is light." (Matt, xxiii. 4; 

xi. 30.) 

The snarling mongrel, shown in the picture, well re- 
presents the "dog" of Bible lands. With the exception of 
a few greyhounds, slukee, kept for coursing, and a few shep- 
herds' dogs, these animals are never individually owned or 
cared for, but roam the cities and villages in wild packs- 
huge mongrel curs, many of whom are literally half-bred 
wolves and jackals. Their very name is one of contempt, 
and they are only just tolerated because they act as 
scavengers, devouring by night the offal thrown by the 
women into the street, and also as night guardians to keep 
away strangers or wild beasts. They are regarded as vile 
and unclean, and the ill-usage they receive drives them out 
by day into the open country. Then "without are dogs"; 
but, safe under the cover of darkness, "they return at 
evening, growling and fighting for the refuse thrown into the 
road, and ready to fly at all strange comers. (Rev. xxii. 15.) 

Dogs are never allowed in the houses, never stroked by 
the master or cared for by the children. When quite young, 
however, as little puppies, these otherwise hated and ill-used 
animals are carried indoors, and are fondled and fed by the 
children, but only when they are quite young. This our Saviour 
well knew, and so did the poor, much tried Syrophcenician 
fellahhah, whose dauntless faith He has called us to admire: 
to give her hope, though a lowly hope, He said, "It is not 
proper to take the children's bread and cast it to little dogs 
[or 'puppies,' kunaria, the diminutive of kuon, 'a dog']." 
To which she replied, as He intended she should, "I beseech 
Thee, Sir [nai kurie], for even the little dogs [kunaria] eat 
from the crumbs that are falling from their lords' table." It 
is greatly to be regretted that the translators should have mis- 

i8o Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

translated this word kunaria, "dogs," and so made our Lord 
apply what in the East is regarded as a dreadful epithet to 
this believing woman, and one which, instead of suggesting a 
hope for her, as the word He used really did, would have 
taken all hope away! (Matt. xv. 22-28.) 

The two belladeen, or townsmen, known as such by the 
kumbaz, or kuftan, the rich silk striped tunic, silk scarf girdle, 
and bright coloured cloth cloak, are seen walking along the 
street hand in hand. Few things in Palestine struck me as 
stranger than this custom. But I came slowly to realise that 
it answers exactly to our walking arm in arm. Where we 
should take a man's arm, they take his hand. In this case 
palm is not held to palm, but one grasps with the palm of 
his right hand the back of the left hand of the other or the 
fingers of his left hand. 

The Scripture references to this custom are most interest- 
ing. The angels who appeared in the form of two men, as 
angels always did, when rescuing Lot and his family from the 
destruction of Sodom, "took hold of his hand, and of the 
hand of his wife, and the hand of his two daughters," or, as 
we should say, " gave them their arm," to lead them gently 
and persuasively from the scene of judgment. (Gen. xix. 16.) 

Observe the inky blackness of the shadows, contrasting 
so vividly with the exquisitely high sunlight. The shadows 
form a very striking feature of these Bible lands, and are often 
alluded to in Scripture as a powerful metaphor for "protection." 
To this hour the mass of the people tell the time during 
daylight by observing the length of their shadow on the ground, 
and that with astonishing accuracy. 

The narrowness and over-arching of the street also speak 
eloquently of a land of the sun. 



Go up Higher"— 



"Friend, Go up Higher "—Belladeen Hospitality 

WE have frequently had occasion to observe how every 
feature of Oriental life is the exact opposite of ours 
in the North-West. Here, on entering a place of 
worship or a private house, as a mark of respect, men re- 
move their hats, but keep on their shoes. In Palestine and 
all the adjacent lands men take off their shoes or boots, but 
keep on their turban or tarboosh. The discarded footgear is 
left in the small, narrow, lower entrance part of the reception 
room, the durka'ah, before the visitor steps up some eight 
inches to that raised portion of the apartment, always square, 
called the leewan, round three sides of which the deewans, or 
continuous couches, run. It is in the durka'ah that "the bed- 
closet" is placed; where also the servants await the commands 
of their master or his visitors. 

Here, in the durka'ah, are to be seen the red leather 
riding boots of the bedawee, who may be distinguished, as 
he sits on the deewan, by his kefeeyeh, or striped silk handker- 
chief, bound round his head by the aghal, or thick worsted 
cord. The red leather shoes of a fellahheen visitor, and the 
yellow shoes of the belladeen, or townsmen, are also shown. 
As we have seen, all these are bought ready made, and only 
roughly fit the feet; they are broad in the heel, with turned- 
up, pointed toes. 

A study of these pictures will have shown the reader that 
the clothes of men, women, and children always hang loosely 
round them, not being made to fit the figure, as is the case 
with us; and, in this way, while all artists agree that Oriental 


i&4 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

dress is more elegant and graceful than ours, a world of waste 
of time, trouble, and expense is saved, and their clothing is 
far more comfortable and healthy. 

It will be seen from the foregoing how natural was that 
command to Moses, which sounds so strange to us, when, 
before the burning bush, he learnt that he was in the presence 
of God, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place 
whereon thou standest it is holy ground." So Joshua was 
bidden by "the prince [sar] of Jehovah's host," who was 
doubtless the Son of God, " Loose thy shoe from off thy 
foot, for the place whereon thou standest it is holy." In 
both instances these words are equivalent to " Take off your 
hat from your head" among us. (Ex. iii. 5; Acts vii. 33; 
Josh. v. 15.) 

When a guest arrives, on the occasion of any entertain- 
ment, the host receives him, if an equal — for the observance 
of rank is a matter of inexorable etiquette in the East — with 
a kiss. 

It is given by placing the right hand on the guest's 
left shoulder, and kissing his right cheek ; and then the action 
is reversed — the host lays his left hand on the guest's right 
shoulder, and kisses his left cheek. The other returns the 
salutation in the same way. As we have already seen else- 
where, the guests in these cases are always and only men. 

Then a slave, generally one of the humblest in the 
establishment, comes forward, having "girded himself and 
taken a towel," and washes the guest's hands, and, if he be 
a barefooted bedawee or fellahh, his feet. This is done, as will 
be seen in our picture, by pouring water over them. 

Another slave or servant carries round a kum-kutn, or per- 
fume-sprinkling bottle, and sprinkles the person of the guest 
with trebly distilled orange or rose water. 

After this, on some occasions at least, an embroidered 
napkin is thrown for a minute over the guest's head and 

Belladeen Hospitality l8 5 

shoulders, whilst a burning censer with incense, often lignum 
aloes, is held under the napkin, that the cloud of incense may 
cling to the clothes already sprinkled by the kum-kum. 

In some very wealthy houses it is the custom to sprinkle 
attar of roses, orange flowers, or sandalwood, on the head, 
hands, feet, or other parts of the guest's person. The word 
"ointment" in the Bible, which is the translation in our 
Versions of shetnen, "oil," in the Old Testament, and of 
muron, "myrrh," in the New, is an unhappy rendering of 
words that mean these precious attars or essential oils. For 
at Oriental entertainments it is as much a part of hospitality 
to give perfume as it is to give food or drink. 

In the leewan, or reception room, the host sits at the 
corner of the deewan which is diagonally opposite the door 
by which the room is entered. The chief seat of honour is 
that at his right hand, and the next is that at his left. The 
other places are in the same order, the third place being the 
second seat to his right, and the fourth, the second to his 
left, and so all down each deewan to its end. "The lowest 
room," or, as it should be, "the lowest place," is that right 
at the end of the deewan on his left hand. 

Even at a morning call, etiquette requires that the guests 
should sit in order of rank ; and it must be remembered 
that in the East the poorest of the people know their 
pedigree and their place in society. If, therefore, a host 
sees any person who has taken a place on the deewan to 
which his rank does not entitle him, his duty requires that 
the matter should be put right, and the man requested to 
take a lower seat. 

For the same reason, if anyone takes too low a place, 
the host will step down from his seat, and, taking him by 
the hand, will lead him up to the position due to his rank. 
On the occasion of a host paying any attention like this to a 
guest, all the other guests wait to catch the eye of the person 

1 86 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

so honoured, and then, each in turn — and sometimes there 
are as many as thirty seated on the deewan — they temeeneh to 
him, that is, make the Oriental salutation that answers to our 
bow. This consists in keeping the head erect, but slightly 
inclined forward, whilst raising the right hand to touch in 
succession the forehead, the lips, and the heart. 

All this is graphically alluded to in Holy Scripture. 

'The mother of Zebedee's children," James and John, came 

to Christ with the nobly ambitious request, "Grant that these 

my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the 

other on the left in Thy kingdom." (Matt. xx. 20, 21.) 

The ' uppermost rooms at feasts," which the proud 
Pharisees loved and chose, are in the Greek "the first seats" 
(protoklisia), that is, those on the deewan nearest to the host. 
When Christ tells His disciples to "go and sit down in the 
lowest place [topos]" He means the " place," or " seat," on 
the deewan farthest away from the host's left hand. (Luke 
xiv. 10.) 

Again it will be realised how the whole scene lives, 
when the Master says, "When thou art bidden by anyone to 
marriage feasts, sit not down in the first seat [protoklisia], lest a 
more honourable [man] than thou be bidden by him ; and he 
that bade thee and him come and say to thee, ' Give this 
man place,' and thou begin with shame to take the lowest 
place [topos]. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in 
the lowest place [topos], that when he that bade thee comes, 
he may say to thee, 'Friend, go up higher',: then shalt 
thou have honour [doxa] in the presence of them that sit at 
meat with thee," that is, each of them will watch to catch 
your eye and bow to you. (Luke xiv. 8-10.) 

It will be seen how disgraceful was the treatment of our 
blessed Lord by His host, Simon the Pharisee. First he neg- 
lected to give Him the social greeting of an equal — the kiss. 
For all that the eye of flesh saw in the Son of God on earth 

Belladeen Hospitality i$7 

was a poor, uneducated, working-man street preacher who 
had the reputation of a prophet. So the haughty Pharisee 
allowed his servants to neglect the washing of the Saviour's 
feet and the sprinkling of His person with perfume. (Luke 
vii. 44-46.) 

At Simon's house, as at so many other wealthy and 
worldly Jewish houses in our Lord's day, the Roman fashion 
of the triklinia, or " dining-conch," was followed. In this 
case, a large, long table ran all down the centre of the 
leewan, and round it on three sides, answering in shape to 
the three deeicans, ran three couches, some six feet wide, 
upon which the diners laid recumbent on their sides, at full 
length, with their heads towards the table. Only in this way 
can what follows be explained, for according to the Jewish 
manner, as it is everywhere in the East to-day, they sat on 
the deezcan, or sometimes on carpets or beds on the floor, 
but in every case with their feet gathered under them, where 
they could neither be seen nor touched. Our Lord, as we 
might have expected, had done what He told His disciples to 
do, when invited to a feast, namely, taken "the lowest place," 
that is, the one at the extreme end of the triklinia, or dining- 
couch, reaching up to the durkaah, the lower, or common 
part, of the room. 

Thus it was that the penitent woman who came in could 
stand there and see His naked, unwashed feet as He lay re- 
clining; for our Lord would have naked feet, seeing that He 
lived and dressed as a fellahh, or villager. Discerning at a 
glance the rude and contemptuous way in which He had 
been treated by His proud, self-righteous host, she appears 
there and then to have stooped down and kissed His feet ; 
for Christ tells Simon, " From the time I came in she has 
not ceased to kiss My feet." meaning she has done it again 
and again from the first. To this day, this mode of salutation 
in Palestine is one of the lowliest bv which an inferior, man 

188 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

or woman, can greet a superior. As she did so, she burst 
into tears, with which, as they fell upon them, she washed 
those precious feet, wiping them with the hair of her head. 
Then from the tiny, alabaster, gilt ornamented bottle, in 
which it is still universally sold throughout the East, she 
poured upon them some rich attar or essential oil. Well 
might the Master say she had "loved much," and thus given 
a convincing evidence that "her many sins" were forgiven! 
(Luke vii. 47.) 

The Evening Meal 
among the Belladeen 

The Evening Meal among the Belladeen 

THE scene in our picture may be readily recognised as 
one of belladeen or town life. The host, in a yellow 
striped kumbaz, or kuftan, the striped dressing-gown-like 
silk robe of the townsman, sits in his usual place, which, as we 
have already seen, is at the corner where meet the two sides 
of the deewan, or raised cushioned seats, about a foot high and 
three feet wide, that run round three sides of the room ; 
that corner which is diagonally opposite to the door. Occupy- 
ing the principal seats of honour, that on his right hand and 
his left, are guests dressed respectively in a red and gold and 
light purple striped kumbaz. Seated farther away to the right 
of the host, in the third place of honour, is seen a guest in 
full dress, that is, wearing over his kumbaz a green cloth 
cloak, the jibbeh, or beneesh. The black slave who is waiting 
upon them wears that other distinctive belladeen dress, much 
affected by young men, consisting of loose, very full pantaloons, 
resembling a divided skirt, the sharwar, coming down to the 
ankles, shaped like a bag broader than it is long, with an 
opening at each of the lower corners large enough to admit 
the feet ; a sleeveless, waistcoat-like garment with countless 
tiny bright buttons, the sudereeyeh, buttoned up to the throat ; 
and over this an elegant zouave jacket, the kubran, of purple 
velvet, richly embroidered with gold. 

The room is the leewan, or reception room, which also, 
even in wealthy mansions, serves for dining room and bedroom 
as well. The walls, as in this case, are often rich and costly, 
consisting of various inlaid marbles, porphyries, and many more 


192 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

or less precious stones. The absence of furniture at once 
strikes a Western eye, as these apartments are comparatively 
empty, a state of things which tends greatly to ease, comfort, 
and health. 

The exquisitely beautiful ewer and basin for the washing 
of hands and feet is seen on the floor, always of copper and 
of this ancient pattern. In the centre of the basin there is a 
dome-like, perforated cover, shaped at the top like a cup, 
which holds a ball of perfumed soap. This arrangement is 
a very delicate one ; for the water which is poured over the 
hands and feet, when thus soiled, passes out of sight through 
the tiny holes in the dome-like cover. The embroidered 
napkin, to be used as a towel by the slave in wiping the guests' 
hands and feet when they are washed, lies on the floor beside 
the basin and ewer. 

Here at this Oriental dinner-party a Western might well 
ask, "Where are the ladies?" But the seclusion of women, 
so far from permitting them to be, as with us, the leaders 
of society, prevents them from even entering it ! 

Only men servants wait on the men at social functions. 
There are three kinds of servants in the East. The lowliest 
form is that of slaves, bought and sold, who are the property 
of their owners, but who are, for the most part, treated 
well, as well as servants are among us, and sometimes much 
better. They are now mostly negroes, but in earlier days they 
were evidently taken largely from other nations ; for the law 
of Moses permitted and regulated slavery, and even Hebrews 
could, under modified conditions, purchase Hebrew slaves. 
Slaves would appear to have formed by far the largest class 
of servitors in Bible times, for the words that occur most 
frequently, 'ebed in the Old Testament and doulos in the 
New, both mean "slave," or " bond-servant," though they are 
always translated "servant" in our Versions. These, under 
the law of Moses, were captives taken in war, debtors sold 

The Evening Meal among the Belladeen 193 

to pay their debts, and children sold by their parents or 
other relatives. Over this class the master has practically un- 
bounded power. 

Next there are " hired servants," answering to servants 
as with us, who are free to come and go, and who undertake 
certain duties for a stipulated wage. But the highest class of 
service is that of "unhired servants," who are often numerous 
in large establishments, and are mostly children, or poor re- 
lations, or neighbouring poor but independent tradesmen, 
looking for the master's influence to advance them in business; 
or, if the latter is a religious teacher, poor or young disciples, 
as in the case of Elisha, who it was said, " poured water on 
the hands of Elijah," that is, "ministered to him as a ser- 
vant." These generally have two suits of clothes given them 
annually by the master, and receive considerable gratuities 
from his guests, suitors, and tradesmen ; for they occupy a 
place somewhat similar to our upper servants, only that their 
duties are very light and less menial. Hence the force of 
those words on the lips of the prodigal son, referring to this 
difference between the hired and unhired diakonoi : "Make 
me as one of thy hired servants," for, as a poor ruined son, 
he might naturally have become one of the more honourable 
unhired servants. (Luke xv. 17-19.) 

When the dinner is ordered, it is still as of old, by the 
modest words, " Set on bread," no matter how elaborate the 
feast ; and some Oriental dinners consist of more than twenty 
courses. For the meal a tiny octagonal table, inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl, is placed in front of the host, and a tray of 
yellow metal, much larger than the table, is laid upon it. 
The dishes are brought in one at a time, and placed on the 
middle of the tray. Bunches of green onions or garlic are 
often put round the tray. The piece de resistance of an 
Oriental meal, the pilaw, a national dish, is here shown. It 
consists of boiled rice, seasoned with butter, or preferably 

194 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

with the fat of the sheep's broad tail, sometimes tinged with 
saffron, and flavoured with pease or tiny pieces of broiled 

They help themselves from the dish, and eat with their 
fingers, as do the fellahheen and bedaween. 

Many delicate rules are observed in this matter. For 
instance, it is thought very rude to spread out the fingers on 
dipping the hand in the dish, as if to take a large help- 
ing, as the guest in the green cloth cloak is seen doing. 
Etiquette requires that the ringers and thumb should at such 
times be kept close together. The Oriental proverb descrip- 
tive of a cunning and greedy man is, "He descends like a 
crow, and he ascends like a camel," that is, he dips politely 
into the dish, as if about to take a bird's peck, but brings up 
a fist-full of food, large as the hoof of a camel ! 

Water is not put on the table at meal times, but, like 
wine or shorbet, is brought to those guests who call for it. 
The drinking cup is a small handleless bowl, usually of brass. 
It is still held from below, poised on the tips of three fingers, 
in the way described by Xenophon, and shown on ancient 
sculptures. This, in all probability, was the form of cup used 
at the institution of the Lord's Supper. 

After every meal an Oriental not only washes his hands, 
but also rinses his mouth with water, the slaves or servants 
coming round with drinking cup, basin, and jug for this 

The 'Al'meh, 
or Dancing Girl 

The 'Al'men, or Dancing Girl 

THIS is a truly Oriental after-dinner scene. These gen- 
tlemen, who, by their jibbehs, or bright, pure-coloured 
cloth cloaks, are at once recognised as belladeen, have 
brought in this 'al'meh, or dancing girl, who is often also 
a singer, for their amusement. The professional female 
dancer is a feature of the luxurious town life, and she is 
practically unknown amongst the simple fellahheen. The 
villagers have for the most part only the country dance of 
men alone, who, joining hands in a ring, with steps more 
grave than gay, perform a solemn choral dance to the 
accompaniment of music — generally flute, drum, and tam- 
bourine — singing, and clapping of hands. This last, or some 
simple sword dance by men, was "the music and dancing" 
heard by the elder brother in the parable of the Prodigal 
Son, clearly a fellahheen scene. This, too, is the dancing in 
our Lord's allusion to the children playing in the market- 
place. (Luke xv. 25; vii. 32.) 

Women among the fellahheen dance among themselves 
when alone, as do the women of the townspeople, but not 
in public, and never, in any case, with men. On a few 
occasions of extraordinary rejoicing women seem to have 
danced in choral dances in public, as in the case of Miriam 
and all the women of Israel, who "went out after her with 
tambourines and dances," that is, "tambourine dances," and 
in that of the women from all the cities of Israel who came 
out with singing and dancing and music "to meet King 
Saul" after David's return from smiting the Philistines. But 


198 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

these were plainly exceptional instances at times of great ex- 
citement after miraculously given crushing defeats of their 

The 'al'mehs, or dancing girls, are therefore looked 
down upon, and their calling is not thought reputable. The 
very fact that dancing in public necessitates their appear- 
ing unveiled before men is in itself most discreditable ; 
although in all ordinary cases, as will be seen from the picture, 
their dress and their dance are far more modest and free from 
vulgarity than that of our 'al'mehs, or stage dancing girls. 

Egypt has for ages been celebrated for its public dancing 
girls, the most famous — or, more truly speaking, infamous — of 
whom belong to a distinct tribe called Ghawazee. A woman 
of this tribe is called Ghazeeyeh, and a man Ghazee. The 
Ghazeeyeh, many of whom are extremely handsome, and most 
of them richly dressed, perform unveiled in public streets, 
even to amuse the rabble. They play castanets, and are 
accompanied by musicians of their tribe on the kemengeh, 
or violin, the rabab, a species of one-stringed violin, the tar, 
or tambourine, the darabukkeh, or small pottery drum, and the 
zemr, or trumpet. They are never admitted into a respectable 
hareem, though sometimes allowed to perform before the door 
in the open courtyard of a town house. These women are 
the most abandoned of the courtesans of Egypt. 

Bearing this in mind, we may realise how disgraceful 
was the conduct of the young princess, the daughter of 
Herodias, when she demeaned herself by appearing at Court 
as a dancing girl before Herod and his lords, officers and 
nobles, at a banquet on his birthday, to which, it goes with- 
out saying, none but men would be invited. This is an awful 
but truly Eastern story, and shows how low a woman may 
stoop to achieve her cruel ends when actuated by a vindictive 
spirit. (Matt. xiv. 6-12 ; Mark vi. 21-29.) 

Equally difficult to me, as a boy, was Herod's oath, when, 

The 'Al'meh, or Dancing Girl 199 

excited by wine, and carried away by the lascivious per- 
formance — for we may be sure that the young princess did 
her best to imitate a Ghazeeyeh — the king swore, "Whatso- 
ever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half 
of my kingdom." Taking the words literally, such a reward 
sounds absurd and impossible. But this expression "unto the 
half of my kingdom," like a thousand others in Holy Scripture, 
is not literal but figurative. It simply means, "I will spend 
half of my income" to get what you ask; and, even in this 
form, it is doubtless an exaggeration, and comes literally to, 
"I will spend a great sum" to procure what you request. 
It will be remembered that Ahasuerus, the mighty Xerxes of 
profane history, on two occasions, spoke in the same highly 
figurative language to his queen, Esther, saying, "What is 
thy petition ? and it shall be granted thee : and what is thy 
request? even to the half of my kingdom it shall be per- 
formed." (Esth. v. 6; vii. 2.) 

To fully understand the letter of Holy Scripture, a know- 
ledge of the tropes and figures of rhetoric, and the figures of 
grammar, still so constantly used in the colloquial speech of 
Bible lands, is as necessary ,as a knowledge of their manners 
and customs and natural features. 

Immense rewards are given by Oriental sovereigns to 
favourite dancers. So unbounded are the payments thus 
made to these performers that some of the ancient and most 
powerful Persian and Mogul dynasties are said to have owed 
their declension and fall to such extravagances. The vengeful 
and artful Herodias was therefore justified in anticipating that 
her daughter's performance before the weak, pleasure-loving, 
profligate Herod would probably procure any price that she 
might demand. 

The host and his friends in our picture are seen clapping 
their hands in that rhythmic and continuous manner in which 
dancers are always encouraged in the East. 

200 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

A very common mode of female adornment is shown in 
the way the 'al'meh, or Ghazeeyeh's, hair is dressed. In this 
fashion the hair is divided into numerous small plaits or braids — 
at least eleven, and sometimes as many as twenty- five, but 
always an odd number — which are allowed to hang down the 
back. Into each of these braids, or thin plaited tresses of 
hair, three strings of black silk, some eighteen inches in 
length, are woven, to which an immense number of small 
gold spangles are fastened at irregular intervals. Sometimes 
the silken threads, which are called keytans, are attached to a 
lace or band of black silk which is bound round the head, 
and they then hang quite separately from the plaits of hair. 
The spangles are flat, thin ornaments of gold, all of the 
same size and shape, called bark, and there are about twelve 
bark to each string. Their usual form is oblong, round at 
the lower end, and pointed at the upper. By a tiny ring at 
their upper extremities these sequin-like spangles are fastened 
to the silken strings, an inch apart, but those of each 
string are carefully arranged so as not to correspond with 
those of the other strings. At the end of each of the strings 
is a small gold tube {niasoorah), or else a many-sided gold 
bead (habbeh), and beneath this is suspended by a tiny ring a 
gold coin about five-eighths of an inch in diameter. Other 
forms of ending to the strings are occasionally used by rich 
women in the place of the gold coins. One of these is a 
flat ornament of gold, called, from its form, kummetre, or 
"pear," and another, which is commoner, is called shiftish'eh, 
and is composed of open filagree gold work with a pearl in the 
centre, whilst at times a tiny tassel of pearls ends the keytan, 
or string. Sometimes each keytan ends alternately with a 
pearl and an emerald. Wealthy women also in certain cases 
have, throughout the strings, a pearl attached to each bark. 
As there are usually about twelve bark, or spangles, upon 
each string, where a woman has twenty-five plaits, or braids, 

The 'Al'meh, or Dancing Girl 201 

each of which has its three strings, she will have hanging 
over her hair 900 bark, seventy-five rnasoorah, or habbeh, and 
seventy-five of one or other of the tassel-like appendages. 

The whole of this ornament is called in Arabic the safa. 
The countless gold spangles almost entirely hide the hair, 
and glitter and tinkle with every movement of the head. It 
would be difficult to find in the way of jewellery a vainer 
or more artificial form of female adornment. This assuredly 
throws light upon two otherwise very difficult passages, 
namely, the Apostle Paul's words of exhortation, "I will, 
therefore, . . . that women adorn themselves with modest 
apparel . . . not with braided hair and gold, or pearls, or 
costly apparel " ; and those of the Apostle Peter, where he 
says of wives, "whose adorning let it not be the outward 
[adorning] of plaiting the hair and of wearing gold, or of 
putting on of [costly] apparel." (1 Tim. ii. 9 ; 1 Pet. iii. 3.) 

There could be nothing unseemly or unbecoming to the 
character of a believing woman in having her hair braided. 
Nor would it seem likely that all wearing of gold would be 
forbidden. Clearly the language here is not literal but figura- 
tive, the grammatical figure of hendiadys, or, as the Greek 
term means, "one by means of two," that is, one subject 
expressed as if it were two distinct subjects. This figure, to 
put it quite plainly, occurs where two nouns in the same 
case are joined by the conjunction "and," one of which — 
generally the latter of the two — is to be understood not as 
a noun at all, but as an adjective qualifying the other. An 
example in the Old Testament occurs where, speaking of 
Jehovah, Moses recounts " His miracles and His acts," which 
plainly stands for "His miraculous acts." So "brimstone and 
fire" is "burning brimstone." "Sweet odours and different 
kinds" is "different sweet odours." "Your iniquity and 
assembly" is your "iniquitous assembly." "A mouth and 
wisdom" is "a wise mouth," that is "wise speech." " Grace 

202 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

and truth [or rather 'reality']" is "real grace." "Ministry 
and apostleship " is " apostolic ministry." "Of Christ and of 
God" is "of Divine Christ." "Philosophy and vain deceit" 
is "vain, deceitful philosophy," and "life and immortality [or 
rather 'incorruptibility']" is "incorruptible life." These are 
a few instances out of very many. This figure of hendiadys 
is employed in modern Arabic, and is found in the Greek 
and Latin classics, and is of much more frequent occurrence 
in Holy Scripture than our translators and commentators seem 
to be aware. 

Thus "braided hair and gold" stands for "gold-braided 
hair," or "hair braided with gold," that is, the wearing the 

A Town 

A Town Hareem 

THE picture gives the women's apartment, the hareem, 
from the root haram, "sacred," or "set apart," the 
room where the women live in jealous seclusion. Like 
all rooms amongst the belladeen, a deewan, or raised couch, 
runs round three sides of it. The main window projects 
outward like a closed-in balcony, and the alcove thus formed 
is entirety surrounded by wooden lattice work, exquisitely 
hand carved, which enables the inmates to get an imperfect 
view, through the crevices, of what is passing outside, whilst 
nothing can be seen of the room from without. There is 
a little door in this, also made of elegant lattice work, 
about eighteen inches square, that can be opened in case 
of emergency. This is here shown open, and two of the 
ladies are attempting to look out into the street. 
Thus in Deborah's triumphant ode, 

" Through the window she looked forth and cried, 
The mother of Sisera [cried] through the lattice," (Jud. v. 28.) 

in her impatience at her son's long delay. Thus too the 
Beloved, the Bridegroom of the Song of Songs, the Bridal Song, 

" Looked in through [or ' from '] the window, 
Blooming [that is, 'looking fresh' or 'flourishing'] through 
the lattice." (Cant. ii. 9.) 

Through such a lattice Ahaziah accidentally fell down, possibly 
by its wooden projecting floor giving way. (2 Kings i. 2.) 


2o6 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

At such a tiny lattice window Jezebel, "having painted 
her eyes and made her head right," that is, seen to its due 
adornment, looked out and shouted insultingly to Jehu. On 
his looking up to the window, and calling out, " Who is 
with me? who?" her place was soon taken by two or three 
palace eunuchs to whom he cried, "Let her go"; and they 
threw her out into the street through this same small aperture, 
and so fulfilled the dread prophecy of Elijah the Tishbite, 
" In the portion of Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel." 
Shocking and unreal as this devouring by dogs sounds to 
us, it is exactly what would take place to-day in any town 
or village of Palestine, if a dead body were left to lie in 
the street even for a short time ; for, as already stated, the 
wild packs of pariah dogs that infest these places consist of 
fierce mongrels, half-bred wolves and jackals, who are speci- 
ally kept as scavengers, have rapacious appetites, and are 
generally half-starved. (2 Kings ix. 30-37.) 

Clapping the hands is the usual way of calling for any- 
one in the East, and is employed universally in summoning 
a servant, just as we should ring a bell. It is incidentally re- 
ferred to again and again in the Arabian Nights. It seems 
to be the allusion in Ezekiel, where the prophet is told, "Clap 
[your] hands, and let a sword be doubled a third time," that 
is, "Summon the Babylonians for a threefold attack on Israel, 
as a man summons his servant by clapping his hands." 
(Ezek. xxi. 14.) In the case in our picture, the elderly 
lady, who is evidently the husband's mother, the duenna 
of the establishment, is seen clapping her hands to recall 
the younger woman from the window, and check the gross 
impropriety of looking unveiled through the opening of the 

Two young boys are shown wrestling, for sons in Oriental 
lands have always been brought up to be warriors, and there- 
fore encouraged from their youth up to wrestle and fight. 

A Town Hareem 207 

This has come about very naturally in a land where adult 
males have always been called upon to bear arms ; a truth 
expressed by David in the words : — 

" Blessed [is] Jehovah my rock, Who is teaching 
My hands for war, my fingers for battle." (Ps. cxliv. I.) 

In the hareem, as out of it, boys are honoured and girls 
despised, and every thoughtful reader must see that this was 
very much the spirit of the Old Testament. It is not "chil- 
dren," as in our Authorised and Revised Versions, that the 
psalmist — probably in this case King Solomon — counts a bless- 
ing, but "sons." Rightly translated the words are: 

" Lo, sons [baneem] [are] a splendid inheritance [' an inheritance of 
Jehovah,' the Hebrew superlative], 
A reward is the fruit of the womb. 
As arrows in the hand of a mighty one, 
So [are] the sons of the young men. 
O the great happiness of the strong-man [gebcr] 
Who has filled his quiver with them ! 
They are not ashamed, 
For they speak with enemies in the gate." (Ps. cxxvii. 3-5.) 

The most casual reader of the Bible must observe what 
a blessing and honour large families were esteemed of old, 
especially if they consisted mainly of boys ; nor are they less 
valued in Oriental hareems to this day. Among the villagers 
every son was a valuable hand on the farm; and, as the psalmist 
says, when meeting " enemies in the gate," whether before 
the judge in the courts there held, or in the constant border 
warfare and family feuds, a large number of stalwart sons 
would be invaluable, and save the patriarchal head of the 
family from being put to shame. 

"Sons," they will tell you in the East, "build up a 

208 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

house, but daughters pull it down," meaning that the girls 
marry into other families or other branches of the same family. 
Indeed, the word "son " in Hebrew, bain, comes from the root 
banah, "builded." We find this figure of "building" applied 
to having male children in the book of Ruth, where the 
people that were in the gate and the elders, who were wit- 
nesses of the betrothal of Boaz and the Moabite maiden, 
said to the former, "Jehovah make the woman that is come 
into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two 
built the house of Israel," that is, by bearing to Jacob, either 
by themselves or their handmaids, twelve sons. Of the "faithful 
priest," that is, " high priest," whom God would raise up in the 
place of Eli, He declared, "I will build him a sure house," 
that is, a "sure family" of sons and male descendants, who 
should carry on his priestly line. So Nathan the prophet said 
to King David, "Jehovah will build thee a house, and . . . 
set up thy seed after thee that shall be of thy sons." The 
Most High promised Jeroboam, if faithful, "I will build 
thee a sure house, as I built for David." (Ruth iv. 11; 
1 Sam. ii. 35; 2 Sam. vii. 27; 1 Chron. xvii. 10, 11; 1 Kings 
xi. 38). 

The charcoal brazier, the mangal, always of this pattern, 
is used for obtaining heat in town houses. It consists of a 
stand of copper, two feet high, in the centre of the upper 
surface of which is set a chafing dish of the same metal, 
which contains the fire. "The pan, or chafing dish, is 
first filled with ashes, upon which the servant lays the 
charcoal and lights it, always in the open air, whether in 
the court or the veranda. There it is gradually kindled by 
the breeze, or by brisk use of a coarse feather fan. It is 
not brought into the room until thoroughly lighted." The 
houses in Pompeii were heated in just this same way ; and 
even the Roman villas in England, as shown by Roman 

A Town Hareem 209 

This brazier would be "the fire of coals" referred to 
in Scripture, that is, of "charcoal," the only coal of Bible 
lands, and this is always mentioned as a luxury. "The fire 
that was on the stove," burning in King Jehoiakim's "winter 
house in the ninth month" (November, when wintry weather 
begins), on which he sacrilegiously burnt the roll of Jere- 
miah's prophecy, would also be such a brazier. This too 
would be the fire at which Peter sat with the servants and 
warmed himself, in the courtyard of the high priest's palace. 
(Jer. xxxvi. 22, 23; Mark xiv. 54; John xviii. 18.) 

The hottest of all charcoal, and that which burns longest, 
is made from the root of the broom. The demand for this 
throughout the East is leading to the extermination of this 
shrub, which formerly abounded in the deserts, and was one 
of the largest growths commonly found there. Hence Elijah's 
resting beneath it for shelter from the burning sun. In our 
Authorised Version it is said he " sat down under a juniper 
tree," which is a low, stunted growth that could give him no 
protection. "Coals of juniper," in the Hebrew, is " coals [or 
'charcoal'] of broom," roathetn, the Arabic retem, the Retama 
roetham of the botanists, "the broom shrub." (1 Kings x. 
45 ; Ps. cxx. 4. See also Job xxx. 4.) 

This apartment that is the women's living room by 
day is their bedroom at night. The beds, thin, small mat- 
tresses, are kept in a closet, the Bible " bedchamber," 
by day, and at night time are brought out and laid upon 
the floor. 

As seen here, needlework, embroidery, music, the care 
of children, and cooking and confectionery in its lighter and 
more elegant branches, are the main employments of ladies 
of the hareem, who in these matters are, for the most part, 
very skilful and industrious. There is an embroidery, peculiar 
to the East, in which the pattern is the same on both sides 
of the silk or cloth, and in which no ends or roughness of 

210 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

any kind are shown, to which Sisera's mother is made to 
refer in Deborah's ode as — 

" A spoil of dyed colours lor Sisera, 
A spoil of dyed colours of embroidery, 

Dyed colours of embroidery on both sides [literally, ' a pair 
of embroidered things ']." (Jud. v. 30.) 

Like all Oriental rooms, the apartment, it will be seen, 
has little furniture of any kind, and there is a marked absence 
of mere ornaments. The freedom from unnecessary cares, as 
well as the hygienic advantages of this feature, are very great, 
and contrast strongly, and, it must be admitted, most favour- 
ably, with our modern, elaborate, and artificial life. Nothing 
of real refinement or good taste is sacrificed in the East to 
this truly labour-saving and charming simplicity. 

The Oriental 

The Oriental Cafe 

THE cafe of the Orient, kahweh, "coffee," as it is called 
in Arabic, is a very important institution. In one 
corner, on a raised fireplace of charcoal, the coffee 
is kept simmering in a coffee-pot. This excellent drink 
largely takes the place of alcohol as a cardiac and brain 
stimulant in Bible lands. The coffee is freshly roasted just 
before it is ground, and in grinding it a cheerful tune is 
skilfully played by striking the pestle on different parts of the 
inside of the mortar. This mortar is shown on the ground 
in the picture entitled " The First Look at the Eastern Bride." 
Wheat and chopped meat are roughly ground for a national 
dish of the Arabs, called kibbey, in just such a mortar ; and 
the wise man says, "Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a 
mortar among wheat with a pestle [that is, ' make him up 
into kibbey'], his foolishness will not depart from him'" 
(Prov. xxvii. 22.) 

The freshly ground coffee is prepared by putting it with 
cold water into a deep, narrow, copper vessel, called bookraj, 
with a long metal arm, by which it is held over a hot charcoal 
fire till it boils. It is then withdrawn for a minute or so, 
and again brought to the boil, and this process is repeated a 
third time. This is the perfect way of making coffee. It is 
then poured out, grounds and all, and drunk without milk 
or sugar. "The coffee-maker, holding in his left hand a row 
of tiny handleless cups, placed one inside the other, then 
pours out a little coffee into the topmost, and rinses it with 
the liquid, which he then pours into the second, and the 


214 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

others in turn, rinsing them all with the coffee he poured into 
the first cup. When he has rinsed the last cup he pours its 
contents into the fire, as a libation to the sheikh Esh-Shaddilly, 
the patron of coffee drinkers." The keeper of a cafe will 
often show his goodwill by rushing forth and pouring a cup 
of coffee on the ground in a similar way before the feet of a 
passing bride, to propitiate his patron saint, sheikh Esh-Shad- 
dilly, and dispose him in the bride's favour. Libations are 
frequently spoken of in the Old Testament as poured out in 
Jehovah's honour. Observe the touching simile, "Pour out 
thy heart like water before the face of the Lord." (Lam. 
ii. 19.) 

The kahweh is a general place of resort for men, but 
women are excluded. The most picturesque spots are chosen 
for it, combining, if possible, the beauties of nature with the 
ever-varying movements of a busy thoroughfare. Hence 
there is always one near the principal gate of a city. 
" Such a spot is the paradise of the Oriental, where he 
dreams and builds castles in the air, under the inspiration of 
his favourite coffee and tobacco, enhanced by the dreamy 
thrumming of stringed musical instruments and song." Out- 
side, workmen sit waiting to be hired. Within, merchants meet 
to transact business ; and light refreshments, such as shorbet 
and sweetmeats, are served — sometimes even meals. 

In the centre of the picture is seen a singer entertaining 
the company. Orientals are passionately fond of music, and 
the cafejys, cafe keepers, hire both vocal and instrumental 
musicians to attract and retain their customers. The vocalist 
fans his mouth with a sheet of paper or with the left hand, 
to increase his breath and tone power ; while placing the 
right hand on the right cheek and the thumb upon the 
gullet, in order the better to modulate the voice. This is 
seen in our picture. So David, "the singer of Israel," must 
have sung of old ; so Moses and the children of Israel and 

The Oriental Cafe 215 

Miriam and her companions; so Solomon's "men singers 
and women singers," and so, in all probability, those who 
were "appointed singers to Jehovah." (Ex. xv. 1-21; Eccles. 
ii. 8 ; 2 Chron. xx. 21.) 

Lyric songs, like lyric poetry, are practically unknown in 
the East. The songs are mainly love songs, war songs, and 
sacred songs. There are a few comic songs, but they are, 
for the most part, free from vulgarity. 

Their musical scale is radically different from ours, and 
is most defective. Their instruments are all tuned differently 
from those of Europeans. The first, second, and last notes 
of the octave are the same, but the other five notes are de- 
fective, and have not the regular progression in the number 
of vibrations producing the note as ours have. The perfect 
symmetrical scale of our music was not introduced until about 
the year 1200 a.d., and was the invention of an Italian, 
Guido d'Arezzo. We in the West must always begin by 
tuning our instruments wrongly if we would perform Oriental 
music, that is, to be exact, where, on a reduced scale of 
vibrations, the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th notes in the East 
are 29£, 32-J, 38, 41, 43£, vibrations respectively, with us they 
are 30, 32, 36, 40, and 45. 

In consequence of this defect in harmony in Oriental 
music, it is wholly lacking in symphony or harmonising parts — 
Easterns sing only in unison ; and the accompaniment to 
a melody consists of a single note struck on a different 
octave by way of variety. "The prominence thus given to 
the key-note makes the air of still greater importance 
than with us." They delight in monotony, and sometimes 
repeat the same bar, or two or three bars consecutively, 
over and over again, perhaps thirty times! They have not 
only semitones, as with us, but quarter-tones, and trills 
upon a single note like the tremolo of an organ ; and 
they also adopt in singing "the intonations of common con- 

216 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

versation, in a manner which utterly baffles our power of 

Thus must have been the sacred music arranged by David, 
and afterwards used in the Temple worship. It must have 
been the music of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Phoenicia, 
Greece, and Rome ; in a word, of all nations till 1200 a.d. 
It has been well said: "The close resemblance between the 
musical instruments of the ancients and those of modern 
Orientals seems to indicate that they adopted the same unsound 
musical principles." 

Most of the musical instruments are used mainly to 
accompany song, and it was the same in Bible times. 
"Praise Jehovah with harp" stands for 'Sing praises with 
the accompaniment of a harp." This is the meaning when 
David speaks of " instruments I made for praising." Thus 
they are called by Amos "instruments of song [k'elai s/wV]," 
and this appellation is given them generally. "The instru- 
ments of song of God," and "the instruments of song of 
Jehovah," Hebrew superlatives for " splendid instruments of 
song," appointed by David, were no doubt only very fine 
kinds of the musical instruments we hear in the East to-day. 
(Ps. xxxiii. 2, cl. 3 ; 1 Chron. xxiii. 5 ; Amos v. 5 ; 1 Chron. 
xvi. 42 ; 2 Chron. vii. 6.) 

These musical instruments may be said to be of two 
kinds, those played out of doors and those played in houses. 
The first are principally used in military music and in 
country districts. The chief of these are the zoorna, or 
"hautboy," a loud, shrill, trumpet-like instrument, and many 
kinds of drums, struck by a peculiar-shaped drumstick on 
one side, whilst in most cases a long, thin, tapering rod is 
held touching the entire length of the opposite surface. A 
third outdoor instrument is the bagpipe, shown to the right of 
the picture, simpler than that of Scotland, Italy, and Bulgaria, 
and having only one pipe. It is made of an entire sheepskin 

The Oriental Cafe 217 

untanned, but divested of its wool. The player holds it 
clasped to his chest in front of him, and presses it towards 
him with both his arms, whilst blowing into it with his 
mouth. The nay, or "flute," is both an indoor and outdoor 
instrument. " It is a reed about eighteen inches long, pierced 
throughout evenly with six holes for the notes," made both 
single and double ; it is difficult to play, owing to the peculiar 
way in which one has to blow upon the sharp edges of its 
mouth, often made of horn, whilst the instrument is held 
somewhat sideways for this purpose. The right hand is put 
nearest the mouth, instead of the left hand, as with us ; and 
this is the same with the zooma and the bagpipe. In 
Egyptian sculptures it is shown played in just this way. It 
is the favourite instrument of the shepherds, who almost all 
play it. This nay, or "flute," is the hhaleel of the Hebrew 
Bible. It is mentioned in the New Testament as played 
equally at weddings and funerals, just as it still is in Palestine 
to-day. (Matt. ix. 23, xi. 17; Luke vii. 32; 1 Cor. xiv. 7; 
Rev. xviii. 22.) 

Of indoor instruments the harp, kinnor, so often men- 
tioned in the Old Testament, is not played now ; unless it is 
the Arabic kanoon. This last, probably the original of the 
harp of Egypt and the lyre of the Greeks and Romans, 
is held by many to be the "harp" of the Bible. "The 
kanoon is a box two inches deep, of an irregular form, its 
greatest length being thirty-nine inches and its width sixteen. 
Across the top are stretched seventy-two strings of catgut. 
It has only twenty-four notes, and, like the piano, each note 
has three strings, which are tuned with a key. The sounding 
board lies under the strings, and is perforated, and covered 
with fish skin where the bridge rests. The performer lays 
the instrument on his knees, and strikes the chords with the 
forefinger of each hand, to which is fastened a plectrum of 
horn. Another form of this instrument, called santoor, is a 

218 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

double kanoon, and comes still nearer to our piano ; the strings 
are of wire, and only double ; they are struck with wooden 
hammers held in the hands. When used in a procession, 
this instrument is suspended from the neck by means of a 
cord." They have a primitive mouth organ, the ancient 
Pan's pipe, consisting of reeds of different lengths, the player 
passing his mouth from one to the other. This is the 
"organ" of our Authorised Version, the "pipe" of the 
Revised, the Hebrew 'uggav or 'uggab, and, together with 
the harp, kinnor, was invented by Cain's descendant, Jubal ; 
and these, the one a stringed, and the other a wind musical 
instrument, are the first two mentioned in the Bible. (Gen. 
iv. 21. See also Job xxi. 12, xxx. 31 ; Ps. cl. 4.) 

There are several kinds of violins, all of which are called 
in Arabic kemenjeh, signifying " bow instrument." The 
simplest form has only one or two strings, but there is a 
kemenjeh with six strings. It is made of coco-nut shell. 
The strings are horsehair. The instrument is three feet long, 
and has a rod at the end shod with iron, upon which it 
rests on the ground when being played, in the same way as 
the bass viol or violoncello with us. This is the nevel of the 
Hebrew Bible, rendered in our Versions sometimes "viol" 
and sometimes "psaltery," and in the Prayer Book version 
of the Psalms "lute"; but which should in all places be 
translated "violin." One with ten strings is mentioned in the 
Psalms, for " Upon ten [strings], and upon violin," is hendiadys 
for "Upon a ten [stringed] violin." (Ps. xcii. 3; cxliv. 9.) 

Another stringed instrument is the tamboora, a sort of 
guitar, three feet nine inches long, with ten strings of fine 
wire and forty-seven stops, often inlaid with mother-of-pearl 
and valuable woods. It is played with the fingers protected 
by a plectrum. With three or six strings it is called sada ; 
and "it is the usual companion and solace of the guardsman 
in his little mud hut at the narrow mountain pass, or of the 

The Oriental Cafe 219 

policeman in the town, who hangs it up on the wall beside 
his weapons above his little deewan." Was this the once 
mentioned "sackbut," the Hebrew sabbeka, which from the 
Greek sambuke we know to have been a stringed instrument? 
The guitar, or ood, is somewhat bulky, two feet long, the 
underpart ribbed and rounded off, instead of flat, as with us, 
having a short neck, with the end suddenly bent back at an 
angle of seventy-five degrees, holding the fourteen strings, 
two to each note. u It is played by the fingers with a 
plectrum. Its notes are louder than those of an Italian guitar. 
A small kind of this guitar with a soft and silvery note makes 
a favourite and excellent accompaniment to the voice." The 
tamboora and the ood are probably correctly called "lute." 
Either this "lute," or the kanoon, would appear to be the 
"harp" upon which David "played' with his hand, to 
soothe Saul. (1 Sam. xvi. 23; xviii. 10.) 

The tambourine, or timbrel, called in Arabic tar, is very 
similar to our modern tambourine. It is held in the left hand 
and is struck by the fingers of the right, whilst the tin pieces 
on the belt attached to the framework contribute their jingle 
to the music. It is probably the tzeltzeleem of the Hebrew 
Bible mentioned as played before Jehovah by David and all 
the house of Israel, together with the harp, violin, drum, 
and sistra. Common also are the cymbals, two metal plates, 
which are struck together, producing a sharp clashing sound. 
These are doubtless the metziltayeem, of the Old Testament, 
mentioned thirteen times in connection with sacred music. 
The drum, deff, used in the East seems to answer to the 
Hebrew toaph, and probably includes the tambourine and 
drums of many kinds, some of them very large, down to the 
darabukkeh, a small drum made with a frame of pottery, ending 
in a short cylinder, held under the left arm, which is struck 
alternately by the four fingers of each hand, and this kind is 
also played out of doors. Toaph, "drum" or "tambourine," is 

220 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

rendered either " tabret " or "timbrel" in our Versions. Thus 
Miriam and the women, singing and dancing in praising God 
for Egypt's overthrow in the Red Sea, played on the toaph ; 
and so did Jephthah's daughter, when going out to welcome 
her victorious father. They were used in sacred music. 

The kanoon or "harp," the ood or "guitar," the 
kemenjeh or "violin," the nay or "flute," and the darabukkeh 
or "pottery drum," are shown in the picture. 

Sometimes, instead of band or vocalist, a professional story- 
teller becomes the entertainer. These men often improvise 
as they go on, and illustrate the narrative with "inimitable 
action, accompanying the description of every scene with 
peculiar and highly expressive pantomime, an ever-changing 
expression of countenance, an occasional shrug of the shoulders, 
a nod or knowing shake of the head, a sudden throwing out 
of the five fingers, a shaking of the garment, and even spitting 
and protruding of the tongue — gestures and signs whose full 
force and meaning can be appreciated only by a native-born 
Oriental." Doubtless, in Bible times, parables and stories were 
told more or less in this striking and dramatic manner. 

There are also those who answer to the bards of the Middle 
Ages, who compose and sing heroic poems and odes, accom- 
panying themselves on the tamboora, or lute. "Thus do 
the common people of the East learn history; so Homer at 
once delighted and instructed the ancient Greeks." The 
song of Moses and Miriam, the song of Deborah and Barak, 
and Psalms lxxviii., cv., cvi., cxxxv. and cxxxvi., are instances 
of this bardic and truly Oriental style. 

Around the singer are shown some fine Jerusalem types, 
notably the aged Jews. Outside is seen a tame bear, per- 
forming for the amusement of the people. Large baboons 
are employed for the same purpose ; and ancient Egyptian and 
Assyrian sculptures show that Eastern crowds were entertained 
in the same way thousands of years ago. 

Choosing a 

Choosing a Bride 

THERE are five strange facts in connection with Oriental 
courtship and marriage which need to be realised if 
we are to understand the allusions to this subject in 
Scripture. First, everyone in the East is bound to marry. 
It is held to be the duty of every man and woman. The 
Jews hold the command given at the creation of man, "Be 
fruitful and multiply and fill the earth," to be one of the 
613 precepts of the Law, which makes marriage binding upon 
all. So fully is this duty enforced in Bible lands that a 
Mohammedan nobleman would, if it were necessary, call a 
beggar out of the street to marry his daughter rather than 
allow her to lead a single life. (Gen. i. 27, 28.) 

Secondly, no one chooses his or her own partner. The 
woman is "given in marriage": the man has his bride chosen 
for him, and it is thought very bad form for him to see the 
face of his betrothed till after marriage — such are the great 
reverence for parents and obedience to authority that prevail 
in the Orient. (Matt. xxii. 30; Mark xii. 25; Luke xx. 35; 
1 Cor. vii. 39.) 

Thirdly, marriage takes place among Easterns at a very 
early age. Girls are "given in marriage" at eleven or twelve 
years of age, though this is not the limit. They are frequently 
married as young as nine ; and, in purely Oriental cities, 
grandmothers of twenty years old are to be found ! 

Fourthly, first cousins, if possible, are chosen. In the 
high civilisation of North-Western lands this last would be 
impossible. Mr. G. H. Darwin has shown, in a paper read 


224 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

before the Statistical Society on this subject, that wherever here 
in England this takes place for five generations running, in 
our highly artificial ordinary town life, the result in every 
case is disastrous — though he says in the North, in the rough, 
primitive fisher villagers and amongst the farm labourers of 
the backward districts, it takes place with "comparative 
impunity." But throughout the East it has been going on 
for thousands of years, and hundreds of generations, and the 
people are mentally and physically as fit as the Japanese — 
and more than this it would be difficult to say. 

Fifthly, a man always has to buy his wife in Bible lands. 
It is true he has to do this sometimes in certain classes of 
life in the North- West, but with us it is done sub rosa, and 
never as a matter of public negotiation! But there, in all 
classes alike, and more particularly among the poor, it is 
done openly and on all occasions ; and I am very glad in 
the East that it is so, for a reason to be given later on. 

Thus we understand the true fate of Jephthah's daughter, 
brought upon her by her father's rash vow. She was not, 
as it has been constantly supposed, slain as an offering to 
Jehovah, for human sacrifices were specially forbidden, and 
it would have been death to have offered to Jehovah any 
sacrifice not sanctioned by the law of Moses. What hap- 
pened was the setting apart of this young girl to lead a 
celibate life, a terrible punishment and disgrace, for she was 
probably the only unmarried girl in those parts. In view of 
this, she asked for two months "to bewail her virginity," in 
company with her young female companions ; and at the 
end of this period, we read, " her father did with her according 
to his vow, which he had vowed, and she knew no man." 
When "the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament [or 
'praise'] the daughter of Jephthah " for four days, it was not 
to weep at her grave or celebrate her memory, but to console 
and sympathise with her during her lifetime. (Jud. xi. 34-40.) 

Choosing a Bride 


It follows that there is not, and never has been, any 
courting in the East, as with us in the West. The marriages 
are arranged mostly by the women of the family, and a man's 
wife is chosen generally by his mother and his aunts. Much 
care is taken in the selection, far more than most young men 
amongst us exercise on their own behalf, and mesalliances 
are thus avoided. It is true that the young people are not, 
and cannot be, in love with one another under this system. 
But in the East this is not held to be necessary, as they say, 
'Love comes after marriage, not before"; and even with 
us it is true that, in the case of every really happy and suc- 
cessful marriage, the highest, holiest, purest love, love built 
on full knowledge and experience one of the other, comes 
after marriage in a way it could not come before. Adam and 
Eve were not less blessed because they were not concerned 
in choosing each other. As a matter of fact, marriages in 
the Orient turn out, for the most part, just as happily as 
they do with us ; and it is certain that in Old Testament 
times they were arranged as now, and this explains why 
divorce was allowed in the case of incompatibility. It was 
a natural and necessary corrective in a state of society where 
marriage was made without previous acquaintance and personal 
choice ; and in those days infidelity was not a ground for 
divorce, but a crime punished by death. (Deut. xxiv. 1, 
xxii. 22 ; Lev. xx. 10 ; John viii. 5.) 

When the female relatives have made their choice of a 
bride, they pay a morning call at her parents' house, and the 
object of their visit is, according to the usual formula of the 
East, announced by their asking for "a glass of water at the 
hands of the daughter of the house," the eldest, unmarried 
daughter. These morning calls are elaborate affairs, and the 
daughter herself, hastily dressed for the occasion to look her 
best, comes in and waits. This, in belladeen life, is the 
scene of our picture. First shorbet is served of lemon, 

226 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

orange, or mulberry syrups, highly perfumed with trebly dis- 
tilled orange or rose water, brought round in tumblers. Then, 
after an interval, sweetmeats are served, generally a very de- 
licious and wholesome conserve of violet or rose petals. Next, 
after another wait, comes a third course, liqueurs, served as 
with us in liqueur glasses. In Mohammedan houses this course 
is omitted. Finally, after another interval, coffee is served, 
coffee very perfectly made from berries roasted and ground 
for the occasion, without milk or sugar, in tiny, handleless 
cups placed in eggcup-like stands. 

Then, when "the daughter of the house" has retired, 
a proposal is made for her and her price discussed, which, 
if she is comely and well born, often runs high. It is deeply 
interesting to note that, according to this invariable Eastern 
custom, Christ is said to have bought His bride, the Church, 
"the Bride, the Lamb's wife." But at what a price— for we 
read that "He loved the Church, and gave Himself for it," 
"the Church of God [or 'of the Lord'], which He has 
purchased with His own blood." (Rev. xxi. 9; Eph. v. 25; 
Acts xx. 28; Gal. ii. 20.) 

A Village Bride's 

A Village Bride's Procession 

THE scene of our picture is the taking about in procession 
of a bride amongst the fellahheen during the wedding 
festivities. The girl is mounted on a camel and decked 
with orange blossom. With her is being carried a box, 
painted in gaudy colours, containing her simple trousseau, 
and also the primitive wooden cradle of the East, always in 
evidence on such occasions. Those who are leading her about 
are rejoicing in true Oriental fashion, firing off their old 
matchlocks, dancing, clapping their hands, and uttering the 
shrill, ear-piercing olooleh, tahleel, woolwel, ziraleet, or zughareet 
— it bears all five names — the ululo of the Romans, the ullaloo 
cry of the Irish wake, the prolonged shriek of excitement to 
be heard alike on occasions of distress or joy. It is made by 
rapid vibrations of the tongue against the palate, aided by a 
movement of the four fingers of the right hand upon the 
mouth. It is called by the Arabs olooleh, because this piercing 
cry sounds like olooleh, or lill, lilt, constantly and quickly re- 
peated. Though frequently used on joyful occasions, and as 
an Arab battle-cry, it is more often associated with lamentation 
and woe. Thus James cries, " Come now, you rich, weep and 
utter-the-cry-of-o/oo/^ [olohtzontes] " ; and Mark tells us, when 
the ruler of the synagogue's daughter died, those in the house 
were "weeping and uttering -the -cry- of -olooleh [alalazontes , 
evidently a form of ololuzontes]." This tahleel or woolwel, the 
same as the Hebrew verb yalyal, a structure of the verb 
yalal, uniformly rendered "howl" in all the twenty-nine places 
where it occurs in our Authorised Version, is literally " utter- 



Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

the-cry-oi-olooleh." Our English word "yell" comes from this 
Hebrew root yalal. (Jas. v. 1 ; Mark v. 38.) 

The price of a village bride in my time in Palestine was 
from .£20 to ,£60. In the time of Moses, this sum, called 
"the purchase money [mohar] of virgins," appears to have been 
reckoned for general purposes at "fifty [shekels] of silver," 
probably about ,£10. " Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, 
the prince of the land," in asking that Dinah should be given 
him as a wife, said, "Multiply upon me exceedingly purchase- 
money [mohar] and gift, and I will give according as ye 
shall say." Boaz said to the elders and all the people of 
Bethlehem, "Ye are witnesses this day . . . that I have 
bought Ruth the Moabitess, the wife [formerly] of Mahlon, 
for myself for a w T ife." Jacob's predicament arose from his 
having no money to buy a bride ; and so his covetous uncle 
Laban forced him to pay a very high price in labour, seven 
years' toil, probably worth in wages, at 4s. a week [the denarius 
a day of the New Testament], about £73. By his being 
cheated, and made to serve another seven years for her, 
the price was brought up to £146 ! Caleb said he would give 
his daughter Achsah to the man who took Debir, formerly 
Kirjath-sepher ; and his nephew Othniel paid in this way 
for his bride. Thus, too, King Saul sent David word that 
he did not ask a money payment for the hand of his 
daughter Michal, but the lives of a hundred men of the 
Philistines ; and David paid by sending his royal father-in-law 
evidence that he had slain 200. Saul had already promised 
to give his daughter, that was his eldest daughter Merab, for 
the service of the slaughter of Goliath, but had been false to 
his word. 

I have said I am so glad that a man has to buy his wife 
in the East, for otherwise I do not know what would become 
of the poor despised girls, for woman there occupies a sadly 
humiliated position, and to a large extent this was the same 

A Village Bride's Procession 231 

in Old Testament times. Few people would care to tell an 
Oriental father in public that a daughter was born to him. 
Miss Rogers says that at her brother the English consul's 
house at Haiffa, she was playing a game of chess with a 
Mohammedan efjcndi, or nobleman, when one of his black 
slaves came in and announced, "A son is born to you, my 
lord." Imagine Miss Rogers' astonishment when, on calling 
to congratulate the young wife on the great event, the birth 
of a first-born son, she found the lady in tears, because the 
child was a daughter ; the slave having been ashamed, both 
on his own account and his lord's, to tell publicly of any- 
thing so humiliating as the birth of a girl ! Girls in the East 
from their earliest years well know this, and if one of them 
wants to express how trifling something is she will say, " It 
is as small as the rejoicing the day I was born ! ' If you 
ask a bedaween sheikh how many children he has, you may 
hear him reply, "The Lord hath given to thy servant six 
children," that is, giving the number of his sons only, wholly 
ignoring the existence of his five daughters ! A man will say 
to a doctor, "Sir, I have a sick man at my house; please 
come and see him" ; and the experienced medical man replies, 
' Yes, I will come and see her" for he knows it is his 
wife whom he has been ashamed to mention ! 

Whereas it is a compliment in the North- West to ask a 
man after the health of his wife, it is thought a grave insult 
to do so in the East. There are a number of things that 
must never be mentioned among Orientals without an apology, 
which takes the form of saying, " Ajalak" "May you be 
exalted," or " Ajalak shanak Allah" "May God exalt you 
[above this vile subject]." A dog, a pig, a donkey, or a 
slipper, come under this category, and so does a man's wife ! 
A nobleman, mentioning his equally nobly born spouse, would 
feel bound to apologise for doing so by adding "Ajalak." 
But the despised girls are worth a good sum to their father, 

232 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

in the way of purchase money from prospective sons-in-law ; 
and many a man is set up in business in the East by a 
money-lender on the security of the "purchase money of 
virgins" he will receive for half a dozen daughters. Thus the 
humiliation and affliction of having a family of girls is made 
tolerable ! 

How much women owe to Christ, Who, by giving them 
equal spiritual privileges with men, which were denied them 
under the law of Moses, has raised them from their former 
degradation! Women, with their quick intuition, soon realised 
the glorious truth that the Lord Jesus had come to save and 
uplift the poor, the despised, the oppressed, the down-trodden, 
and therefore to raise their sex. So we read of this Great 
Prophet, that "women were ministering to Him," not only 
personally, but also "of their property." Well they might, 
and the only wonder is that any woman can be aware that 
she owes her present happy and honourable social position 
entirely to the Saviour, and not hasten to minister to Him 
now, as her sisters of old ministered to Him in Palestine. 

A Bridal Procession 
in a Town 

A Bridal Procession in a Town 

^LTHOUGH the marriage itself in Bible lands is, and 
J~^ always has been, the simplest of all ceremonies, con- 
sisting merely of the receiving of the bride into the 
bridegroom's house, being an acknowledgment before wit- 
nesses that he takes her as his wife— which survives to this 
day in our similar form of Scotch marriage— yet the proces- 
sions and entertainments carried on in connection with it are 
most elaborate. 

We learn from Samson's wedding that a week was the 
usual period during which the festivities lasted, for the time 
he gave them to guess his riddle was "within the seven days 
of the feast." (Jud. xiv. 12.) With this very interesting 
incident agrees the saying of the Jewish rabbis, probably 1,400 
years later, who speak of the seven days of the marriage 
festival as emblematic of the 7,000 years during which they 
taught the world would last. 

These rejoicings still continue for at least seven days, 
and sometimes extend to a fortnight. Many families are 
ruined, and come into the power of unscrupulous money- 
lenders, owing to the cost of these entertainments. Open 
house is kept, and passers-by, as well as friends and neigh- 
bours, are invited. 

It is this large and lavish hospitality that explains the 
great quantity of wine miraculously supplied by our Lord at 
the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee, probably some 135 

That this was fermented wine is certain, for we read that 

2 35 

236 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

the experienced "governor of the feast," after tasting it, called 
it "the good wine," which is usually only supplied at the 
commencement of a banquet. Bat it should be borne in 
mind that the best wine in Palestine is the pure fermented 
juice of the grape quite unfortified, and is not stronger than 
an ordinary claret, that is, has only about fourteen per cent, 
of alcohol; and also that all wine throughout the East, when 
drunk, is mixed with about half its bulk of water, which 
reduces it to a strength but little above that of some tem- 
perance drinks. 

When we remember the crowds that, day after day, some- 
times for a fortnight, attend a marriage, it will be seen that 
this bounteous provision of wine would not tend in any way 
to excessive drinking or intoxication. 

The wine made throughout the East to-day is alcoholic, 
and so must the wines of the Bible have been, as we learn 
from so many allusions by the prophets and others to their 

In our picture the young bride is seen led about in a 
procession, called by the Arabs a zeffeh, accompanied and 
supported by female companions. Over her head a silk 
canopy is borne, held aloft by four poles carried by men. 
This appears to be the allusion in the Bridal Song, the Song 
of Songs, when the bride says — 

" He brought me to the house of wine, 
And his banner over me was love." (Cant. ii. 4.) 

In front of the procession is seen the usual native jester, 
half naked, dancing backward with all manner of antics, who 
sometimes plays cymbals, sometimes waves about a drawn 
sword, but always appears in a dishevelled, almost indecent, 
state, and makes himself utterly ridiculous. The more outrS 
and absurd his conduct, the more he is supposed to do 
homage to the bride. 

A Bridal Procession in a Town 237 

This character, generally a common man, is always in 
evidence at all kinds of rejoicing street zeffehs, thus, by his 
own humiliation, doing honour to whomsoever or whatsoever is 
being celebrated by a public procession. I have already 
alluded to the custom in the chapter, "Sanctuary," where, it 
will be remembered, a man of this character does honour to 
the one whose life has been saved. 

This explains no doubt what David did, when he brought 
up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to Jeru- 
salem, "into the city of David with joy." We read that in 
the procession on this occasion David took the position 
generally occupied by one of the poorest of the people, and 
"danced before Jehovah [that is, 'before the ark which 
symbolised Jehovah's presence '] with all [his] might," clad 
only in a linen shirt, that is, in the undress of a working 

Well might his worldly minded royal consort Michal, 
the daughter of Saul, have been shocked when "she looked 
through the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing 
before Jehovah, and she despised him in her heart." Very 
natural was her sarcastic greeting when she came out to meet 
him, "How glorious was the king of Israel to-day, who was 
uncovered to-day in the eyes of the female slaves of his 
servants, as one of the vain fellows is quite uncovered." 
David's earnest reply, " [It was] before Jehovah, Who chose 
me ... to appoint me prince over the people of Jehovah, 
over Israel : therefore I will play before Jehovah. And 
I will be yet more vile than this, and be base in my own 
sight," tells of the love which prompted an action that the 
world would count most shameful, but just in that degree, 
according to Oriental ideas, ascribed highest honour and glory 
to God. 

Truly the pious zeal of David, and the open expression 
of his devout thankfulness to Jehovah, in the presence of the 

238 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

crowds in the street, had never taken a lowlier expression 
than this. How well those who know the East, and have 
again and again witnessed the extraordinary scene, can realise 
the depth of David's humiliation and the honour he thus paid 
to his Divine benefactor! 

"A Bride Adorned 
for her Husband " 

"A Bride Adorned for her Husband" 

AS we have already shown, a man must not see the face 
L of his fiancee till after they are married. Hence it is 
thought of the utmost importance that, at the eventful 
moment, on their wedding night, when he lifts her veil, 
to take his first look, the impression should be a favourable 
one. To this end, the greatest care is taken in arraying the 
bride on the day of her marriage. Her dress, in the case 
of the belladeen, or townspeople, is of the richest material, 
and of the most brilliant, pure colours. Her nails, hands, 
arms, breasts, and feet are stained with paste of henna, 
yellowish-red or deep orange, in elegant lace -like patterns. 
Her cheeks and lips are painted red; her eyebrows pencilled 
so as to appear to meet— for beetle brows are thought beau- 
tiful in the East in the case both of men and women. Her 
eyes are tinted black between the lids by a powder of smoke 
black, usually produced by burning a coarse species of frank- 
incense or the shells of almonds, so as to make them appear 
larger and brighter; and the skin of her face, by a peculiar pro- 
cess, is made smooth and shining as a piece of polished marble ! 
Thus Jezebel, when she looked out of the lattice, "put her eyes 
in paint"; thus Jerusalem and Samaria, imaged as vain, wicked 
women, are represented as having "painted their eyes" to 
captivate their lovers; and the daughter of Zion is reproached 
with the words, "Thou tearest thine eyes with painting." (Ps. 
cxliv. 12; 2 Kings ix. 30; Ezek. xxiii. 10; Jer. iv. 30.) 

Orientals are celebrated for their love of display and 
magnificence, but a bride's dress is often rich and gorgeous 

Q 241 

242 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

beyond expression. It should be six yards to the end of the 
train, and the sleeves should sweep the floor. It is not only 
embroidered with coloured silks, heavy gold and silver thread, 
and glittering spangles, but among the rich, diamonds, pearls, 
rubies, emeralds, and other precious stones, in clusters and 
bouquets, are placed upon it, and the buttons are diamond 
solitaires. In the case of the daughter of a banker or wealthy 
grandee, such a wedding gown will sometimes cost ,£70,000. 
To the Eastern imagination no illustration of beauty and 
splendour can be greater than that of Isaiah, when he cries : — 

" He clothed me with garments of salvation, . . . 
As a bride putteth on her jewels." (Isa. lxi. 10.) 

Well may Jeremiah ask, 

" Can a maid forget her ornaments, 
A bride her attire ? " (Jer. ii. 32.) 

By the synonymous parallelism of Hebrew poetry the "maid" 
of the first line here is the "bride" of the second; for maids 
before their marriage wear, according to Eastern etiquette, but 
few and inconspicuous ornaments. The full meaning requires 
the filling of two ellipses, and is : — 

" Can a maid forget her ornaments [worn on her wedding-day] ? 
Can a bride [forget] her attire ? " 

At the closing scene of glory in the Revelation we 
read, of "the bride of the Lamb," that "John saw the 
holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of 
heaven, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband," 
for this abode of the blessed shone a mass of jewels and gold. 
(Rev. xxi. 2, 9-21.) 

The bride in the Scriptural Bridal Song cries, according 
to our Versions, 

" Comfort me with apples, 
For I am sick of love." (Cant. ii. 5.) 

"A Bride Adorned for her Husband" 243 

All attempts of commentators have hitherto failed to 
explain these words, or to identify this apple, the tappooahh, 
of the Old Testament, which is mentioned seven times. Yet 
no tree in the Bible is indicated by more certain marks. Its 
fruit is spoken of as 

"Golden tappoohheem in network [or ' frame'] of silver," 
(Prov. xxv. 1 1 ) 

that is, a fruit of golden colour with a surround of silvery 
white blossom; for it occurs in a proverb setting forth the 
excellency of flowery, courteous speech, so prized in the 
Orient— gracious matter in a gracious manner. It had a rich 
perfume, one powerful enough to be precious in Bible lands, 
the very home of strong perfumes: — 

" The fragrance of thy nose is like the tappoohheem!' (Cant. vii. 8.) 

It also affords a delightful shade, which, under the burning 
Syrian sky, requires not only an umbrageous tree, with thick, 
leathery leaves, but one that is evergreen for, of her beloved, 
who is 

" Like a tappooahh among the trees of the ya'ar," 

the Arabic wa'ar, the dry, stunted, fruitless growth of the 
rocky Palestine uplands, the bride says, 

"I sit down under his shadow with eager desire." 

She adds immediately: 

"And his fruit is sweet to my taste," (Cant. ii. 3.) 

and in Syria fruit must be juicy, thirst-quenching, and safe to 
eat in large quantities, to answer this requirement. 

Now these five marks meet in the orange, and in that 
tree alone, and each in the highest degree. It flourishes in 
Palestine, and— though all the botanists have doubted this— I 

244 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

have shown elsewhere it must have been there in Bible times. 1 
It is in full bearing at about a hundred years of age, and 
will then produce as many as twenty-five thousand oranges in 
one season ; but it is such a veritable tree of life that the 
last of these fruits may be seen surrounded by silvery white 
highly perfumed blossom! It is evergreen, and affords a 
glorious shade from the sun, and the fruit is a most valuable 
febrifuge ; but especially so in those sultry climes, like Syria, 
where it flourishes, and goes on bearing for eight or nine 
hundred years. 

The person of an Eastern bride, both on brow and body, 
is adorned with its richly fragrant flowers. The "apple," tap- 
pooahh, "the breathing, or perfumed, tree," as this Hebrew 
word means, is certainly the orange; and it is just as certain 
that the Hebrew word raphad, rendered " comfort ' in 
Cant. ii. 5, in the only two other places where it occurs 
requires the rendering "strew," or "spread," and this is 
clearly its meaning here. The true translation is — 

" Strew me with orange, 
For I am faint with love," 

for in these hot, dry regions strong perfumes are reviving 
and strengthening in a high degree. Just as the fainting, 
sensitive maiden with us would call for a bottle of smelling 
salts to revive her, so the bride in the Song, overcome with 
emotion, calls for the pungent, powerful perfume of the 
living orange flower for the same purpose. It is deeply 
interesting to discover that we have here in the Bible, in the 
Bridal Song, the origin of the wreath of orange blossom em- 
ployed to this day as part of the "ornaments of a bride, and 
the reason for its adoption. 

In our picture a black slave is seen helping to array her 

1 For full proof that the "apple" of the Old Testament, the tappooahh, must be the 
orange see the author's Palestine Explored, 13th edition, pp. 181-20S. 

"A Bride Adorned for her Husband" 245 

young mistress, and herself adorned, as also is one of the 
bride's companions, with that favourite female article of 
jewellery in the East, " a nose-ring." It is usually a thin 
ring, about an inch and a half in diameter with an opening, 
at one end of which reposes a jewel. When, by means of 
the aperture, the ring is passed through a hole bored in the 
cartilage of the nostril, this jewel lies out upon the cheek. 

Isaiah, amongst the elaborate ornaments of the vain 
"daughters of Zion," enumerates "nose-rings," and Ezekiel, 
representing the Most High adorning Jerusalem, says : 

"I give a ring for thy nose." (Ezek. xvi. 12.) 

There are no bedrooms in the East, people, even of 
wealth and refinement, sleeping by night in the room in 
which they live by day. The only exceptions to this are 
found in the palaces of princes, or the town mansions of the 
very great or very wealthy. The "bed-chamber," or as it 
is in the Hebrew, "the chamber of lying-down-to-sleep," is 
mentioned three times in the Old Testament in the case of 
kings, Pharaoh, Ishbosheth, and the king of Syria. (Ex. viii. 3; 
2 Sam. iv. 7 ; 2 Kings vi. 12.) 

Where it says in Ecclesiastes, 

" In thy bed-chamber revile not the rich," (Eccles. x. 20.) 

in all probability "the chamber of lying down to sleep" here 
stands for the cupboard or closet in the wall of the one living- 
room, which serves alike as drawing-room, dining-room, and 
bedroom, where the rolled-up beds are kept by day, as shown 
in our picture. Where we read that Josheba, the sister of 
King Ahaziah, and wife of the high priest Jehoida, hid her 
royal baby nephew and his nurse " in a bed-chamber," the 
Hebrew is "a chamber of beds," and certainly refers to a 
large bed-closet in the high priest's palace, where they were 
concealed behind a screen of unused beds. (2 Kings xi. 2.) 

246 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

In all ordinary town houses and among the well-to-do 
villagers the bed is a thin mattress, stuffed with cotton or 
wool, about six feet long and three feet wide, generally laid, 
when night comes, upon the floor of the room, though in 
some wealthy houses it is placed on a cage, or crate-like 
frame of palm sticks or reeds some nine inches high, and 
where this is lacking two mattresses are laid one over the 
other. In winter the beds are sometimes laid for warmth 
on the floor of the bed-closet, which is raised about a foot 
above the ground, or in one or more deep alcoves called 
mastebehs in the thick walls of the room, the bottoms of which 
are raised a foot and a half above the floor. This explains 
the expression, "Thou shalt not come down from that bed on 
which thou art gone up"; though it is true that these words 
were spoken to a king, Ahaziah, and in palaces there are 
still elaborate bedsteads. (2 Kings i. 4-6.) 

The two Hebrew words for "bed," mittah and mishkav, 
and klirie in the Greek of the New Testament, are also used 
for the bed-like long couches, forming the tops of the deewans 
running round three sides of the leewan, or living-room, 
where by day the people recline or sit with their feet gathered 
under them. When we read that, in his terror and anxiety 
to save his life, Haman, prostrating himself before Esther, "was 
fallen upon the bed," it means the couch on which she was 

These beds are very thin and roll up into small bundles, 
and so can be easily carried. Thus when our Lord said to 
the paralysed man, "Take up thy bed and walk," it will 
be seen how readily, when restored to health, he could fulfil 
this command ; and how easily and naturally those that were 
sick could be borne "about in beds" to the spots where 
their friends heard that Christ was to be found. (Mark ii. 9, 
11 ; vi. 55.) 

" Behold, 
the Bridegroom 

"Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh" 

WE have seen that the marriage ceremonies, including 
the phantasias of several street processions, are always 
kept up for seven, and often for fourteen days. 
Towards the close of the feasting and rejoicing comes the 
actual wedding. This takes place at midnight. Then is 
formed the bridegroom's zeffeh, or procession, which is an 
affair of great phantasia. The central figure, mounted on 
horseback, is the youthful bridegroom. The age of marriage, 
as we have seen, is very early, for often boys of fourteen are 
married to girls of eleven and twelve. If possible, a white 
animal is procured — in this case a white horse, as it is 
thought honourable to have this colour. It should be known 
that white horses are bred in the East, and are not, as 
with us, grey horses grown old. The bridegroom, in a rich 
cloak for this occasion and new clothes, is seen modestly 
hiding his mouth as befits his youth and the marriage 
ceremonies, when Oriental etiquette inexorably requires that 
he should be silent and bashful. Mounted behind him on 
the same horse, as on every such occasion, is "the mock 
bridegroom," a very little boy, dressed as a counterpart of the 
bridegroom, who follows him about like his shadow, and 
makes much merriment by imitating his every movement. 

Men carrying Eastern flambeaux, very probably the 
"torch" of the Bible, called mashals, long poles with an iron 
cage at the top, in which rolls of oiled rag are kept burning, 
light the way. A woman from the low roof of a one-roomed 
village house is pouring perfume from a hum -hum, or trebly 


250 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

distilled rose or orange water sprinkling bottle, on the bride- 
groom, to anoint him for his wedding, as he rides by ; whilst 
a youth in front is pouring water on the ground before his 
horse's feet, out of the bak-buk, the usual drinking-water 
bottle of the country, as a libation, or precious offering, in 
his honour ; for good drinking water is very precious during 
some seven to eight hot months in Palestine. 

Musicians playing on the darrabukeh, or drum, the tamboora, 
or lute, and the nay, or flute, march with the procession. 
Others, led by a fugleman, are loudly and rhythmically clapping 
their hands in unison, as an accompaniment to the refrain 
already explained: "O amen, God is Amen; O amen, and 
repeat it again." Impromptu songs are also sung in praise of 
bridegroom and bride, with a joyous and curious chorus, 
peculiar to wedding festivities, repeated endlessly over and 
over again, for to Easterns monotony seems as delightful as 
variety is to us ! 

The Orient is the very home of hospitality. Among 
the many charming exhibitions of this virtue, none are more 
striking and delightful than the custom of going out, often 
for many miles, to meet, welcome, and escort to his journey's 
end a coming visitor. On my arrival at Jerusalem in 1871, 
to take up my work there, a vast throng of people came out 
to meet me, some riding along the Jaffa road, as far out as 
twelve miles, on a burning hot shirocco day in May, to give 
to my wife and myself this truly kind and delightful recep- 
tion. The first time the word "meet" occurs in the Bible 
it is in connection with this hospitable custom, when we are 
told "the king of Sodom went out to meet" Abraham on 
his victorious return from the crushing defeat of Chedor- 
laomer. Indeed, the first twelve times the verb "to meet" 
occurs in the Bible, it is in each instance in reference to 
this graceful act of welcome. Thus King Balak went out to 
meet Balaam, and King Saul to meet the prophet Samuel. So 

"Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh" 251 

the cunning Gibeonites sent out ambassadors to go to meet 
advancing Israel. Jephtha's daughter went to meet her father, 
first of the throng of welcoming women ; Abigail and her 
servants to meet David ; David to meet his outraged ambas- 
sadors ; and the women out of all the cities to meet King 
Saul. All Judah and half Israel came as far as Jordan to 
welcome and escort David to Jerusalem ; the sons of the 
prophets to meet Elisha ; and the two kings Joram and 
Ahaziah to meet Jehu. When the Lord came up to Jeru- 
salem to keep His last Passover, "a great multitude . . . 
went forth to meet Him." When the Apostle Paul, after his 
trying and eventful journey, landed at Puteoli, and took the 
great Appian Way, the road to Rome, "the brethren," Luke 
says, "came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and the 
Three Taverns," some forty - three and thirty - three miles 
respectively, this last a truly hospitable and noble welcome. 

Hence it will be well understood that, when the bride- 
groom is coming, on the night of the wedding, in pro- 
cession to receive his bride and escort her to his home, the 
rites of hospitality require that her friends and relations 
should go out "to meet him" and conduct him to her 
house. This is the graphic and familiar scene to which our 
attention is called in the parable of the Ten Virgins in 
Matthew xxv. The women alone in the hareem, their private 
apartment, entertaining their female friends and relatives all 
day, and unaccustomed to late hours, wearied out as night 
advances— for the procession does not arrive till about 12 p.m. 
— naturally fall asleep, but take care to leave someone to 
watch. Then when the lights, music, and loud rejoicing 
announce the near approach of the zeffeh, "at midnight a 
cry is made, ' Behold, the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out to 
meet him! ' " (Matt. xxv. 6.) 

But by an ancient police regulation, which is rigorously 
enforced to this day, no one is allowed to go out at night 

252 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

without carrying a light. This light is still, in all purely 
Oriental parts, a small oil lamp, carried in a kind of rude 
Chinese lantern of paper or oiled silk, as shown in our 
picture. As it is night, and the women have "to go out 
to meet" the bridegroom as well as the men, they do not 
go far on this occasion ; so that the cry rousing them 
from their slumbers is not made till the zeffeh is seen 
approaching. Night being the time in the East "when no 
man can work," it is then too late to get oil, if they have 
it not with them in their vessels when thus suddenly 
awakened; and, therefore, it is too late for those who then 
lack oil to take part in the glad welcoming procession. 
They could not rouse their neighbours, or "go to those that 
sell," and procure a supply before the procession would have 
entered the bride's house; and, after that, " the door is shut," 
and no one coming later is on any pretext admitted to the 
bridal supper which immediately follows. 

" Watch therefore ... be ye also ready ; for in what hour ye 
think not the Son of Man cometh." (Matt. xxiv. 42-44.) 

" For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout or 
command, with [the] voice of an archangel, and with a mighty trumpet 
[literally, 'trumpet of God'], and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught away together with 
them in [the] clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever 
be with the Lord." (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.) 

The First Look 

at the Eastern Bride 

The First Look at the Eastern Bride 

A GOOD illustration of Oriental marriage customs is to 
be found in the story of Isaac, who appears to have 
been about forty years of age at the time he was 
wedded. This abnormally late age is probably accounted for 
by the evidently weak health of the "heir of promise," possibly 
brought about by his being the son of his parents' old age. He 
was bedridden and feeble for many years of his life, prematurely 
aged and purblind some thirty-one years before he died ; taken 
advantage of by wife and son ; and we read but little about 
him, unlike his strong father Abraham and his adventurous 
son Jacob. When his bride arrived, we find that Isaac was in 
a moody state, mourning inordinately after his mother's death ; 
for we read "he went out to mourn [or lament, la-sooahh] in 
the open-common-land [sadeh] at evening." Doubtless it was 
this that led Abraham to conclude that it was as necessary 
for Isaac to be married now, as it had been desirable before 
to postpone his nuptials to a later age than usual. 

But when his father decides it is time that his son should 
marry, what step does he take? Does he send for Isaac, as 
would be the case with us, and tell him to seek a wife, or, 
indeed, consult him in the matter at all? No, he sends for 
the "eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he 
had," whom we learn from Genesis xv. 2 was "the possessor" 
or "steward" of his house, Eliezer of Damascus, and com- 
missions him to go to Mesopotamia, and, from the patriarch's 
own family or kindred, select and bring home a bride for 
his son and heir. But is not Isaac to go with him, or have 

2 55 

256 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

anything to do with the choice of his own wife ? Certainly 
not, for, according to all Oriental ideas, this would have been 
highly improper, and would certainly have led to the failure 
of the expedition. (Gen. xxiv. 1-9.) 

Difficult enough it was in all conscience, even without 
Isaac's presence. Often have I pictured the almost insuper- 
able difficulties that the good steward had necessarily to 
encounter ; and well can I understand the anxiety he showed 
throughout the whole business. Four tremendous obstacles 
must, among others, have risen before him: first, that he, 
a man, should be sent to negotiate a marriage, and not only 
negotiate it, but also there and then bring the bride away 
with him. For, as we have seen, marriages are arranged and 
superintended, as far as the bride is concerned, entirely by 
the women of both families, and seldom, if ever, in this way 
by a man. But all the customs of female seclusion forbade 
the possibility of sending women on such a mission as Eliezer's, 
and so, in this instance, a man has to take their place. 
Secondly, as the experienced old servant well knew, owing 
to Isaac's marriage having been so long delayed, and his being 
the son of his parents' old age, all his first cousins must long 
ago have been married. Now, as mentioned, a man has a 
right of pre-emption to the hand of his first cousin. I use 
the word "pre-emption" advisedly, because a man has always, 
in Bible lands, to buy his wife — a right which would be 
admitted and upheld by all the family on either side. But 
with a cousin once removed, who was all Abraham's servant 
could hope to obtain, the claim would not be anything like 
so strong. Thirdly, he would have to get a wealthy and 
influential family to forgo all the long, elaborate, and joyful 
ceremonies connected with a wedding, so dear to the women, 
and in their eyes almost sacred. Lastly, he would have to 
induce them to permit a young girl to go away, a journey of 
something like 420 miles from her home, to be married and 

The First Look at the Eastern Bride 257 

settle among strangers. This final difficulty would be one 
of the utmost gravity, for in the East it is a part of piety to 
stay at home all one's life; and their proudest boast is that 
of the great woman of Shunem, "I dwell among my own 
people." Never do most of them leave the ring fence of 
the family or clan to which they belong; for in the Orient 
great trials and dangers are encountered by going among 
strangers. That is a truly Eastern proverb :— 

"As a bird that wanders from her nest, 
So is a man that wanders from his place." (Pro v. xxvii. 8.) 

Great indeed was the trial of Abraham's faith, so great 
that none who are not familiar with the life of Bible lands 
can fully realise it, when Jehovah said to him, " Get thee out of 
thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, 
unto a land that I will show thee." Truly it was "by faith," 
yea, by great faith, that "Abraham went out, not knowing 
whither ^he went," and "by faith sojourned in a strange 
country," where, among countless other trials and disadvan- 
tages, there would be none of his kindred to whom to marry 
his sons and daughters! (Gen. xii. 1 ; Heb. xi. 8-9.) 

All this Eliezer must have keenly realised, and he well 
knew that nothing less than a special Divine interposition 
could enable him to execute his delicate and, to merely human 
effort, wellnigh impossible commission. Arriving at evening 
time at the well near the city of Nahor, wise and pious man, 
he pours out a fervent prayer for help, and asks for a sign by 
which^he may know the girl who is God's own choice: 
"She," he^says, "whom Thou hast appointed for Thy ser- 
vant Isaac." But he had not neglected the use of means, 
for he had taken with him on this journey ten camel loads 
of treasure, so as to be able to pay any price, however 
exorbitant, that might be demanded for the bride. Note 
his great faith. He does not say, as no doubt too many of 

258 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

us would have been content with saying, "Lord, I am pre- 
pared to wait here any length of time, only let me ultimately 
succeed in finding a bride for my master's son." No, he 
says in effect, "Lord, send her now, this evening, at once: 
let it be a girl, one of the young girls under twelve [for 
older than this they are never allowed out with the flocks] 
who will almost immediately be coming to draw water!" 
He knew it would be as easy for the Most High to answer 
his prayer in the next five minutes as in the next five years 
—but what faith ! (Gen. xxiv. 10-14.) 

Observe also the old man's great shrewdness, shown by 
the sign he proposes, namely, that it should be the girl who, 
when he asks her to give him a drink, should say, "Drink, 
and I will give thy camels drink also." It is not allowed 
in the East for a stranger to speak to a woman. We read 
that when Christ did so, at Jacob's well, His disciples "mar- 
velled that He talked with a woman." But the Master, like 
Eliezer, had opened the conversation by asking for a drink, 
the one word that a thirsty stranger may to this day address 
to a woman without any fear of giving offence. The sign, 
too, required that the girl should be strong and healthy, 
good-natured and sympathetic — most important qualifications 
in a bride for delicate Isaac ! Imagine his thankfulness and joy 
to find, in the singularly handsome girl — for "the damsel was 
very fair to look upon" — sent in answer to his prayer, a cousin 
once removed of his master's son, the nearest eligible clans- 
woman. He instantly gives her a golden ring, that is, a 
nose ring, for he says, "I put the ring on her nose [appah]," 
and two very heavy gold bangles; and, arrived at her home, 
he gives to Rebekah, to her brother, and to her mother many 
costly presents. Then, trembling with anxiety lest her people 
should repent of their promise, he insists on being sent away 
immediately. If it be objected that Rebekah is asked, "Wilt 
thou go with this man?" it must be borne in mind how 

The First Look at the Eastern Bride 259 

abnormal the case was, so that they felt that her consent 
must be asked under such extraordinary circumstances. 
When, returning with the bride, Eliezer arrived at Abraham's 
camp, Isaac was seen ; and, upon Rebekah's being informed 
who he was, " she took a veil and covered herself." 

Nothing could better prove the need of such pictures as 
we are showing in these pages, and the absurdity of so 
much that passes for Bible illustration, than that great artist 
Dore's painting of the Meeting of Isaac and Rebekah. 
First the latter is shown dismounting whilst the camel stands 
bolt upright, as if anyone in the East ever attempts to get 
on or off a camel till it kneels down ! Then, though Scrip- 
ture says she "took a veil and covered herself," she is seen 
quite unveiled, and looking into the upturned face of Isaac ; 
and is actually stepping down, acrobat-fashion, by putting her 
naked foot on the upturned palm of his hand, all of which 
in the East even a woman of loose character would not dare 
to do publicly ! 

In the conclusion of the story, we read that " Isaac 
brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, 
and she became his wife ; and he loved her, and Isaac was 
comforted after his mother's death." That brings us to the 
scene of our picture, the bridegroom's fateful look at his 
bride, when after marriage— which, as we have seen, consists 
of simply receiving her into his tent or house— he lifts her 
veil, and gazes upon her face for the first time. Thus the 
words, ' He loved her . . . and was comforted after his 
mother's death," mean that the first look was satisfactory, 
which is not always the case with Eastern marriages; albeit 
the bride on the wedding day is so gloriously "adorned for 
her husband" in order to secure a favourable impression! 
(Gen. xxiv. 67 ; Rev. xxi. 2.) 

Surely the courting and wedding of "the heir of 
promise" is a glorious allegory. Eliezer, the trustee and 

260 Everyday Life in the Holy Land 

dispenser of Abraham's wealth and his trusted messenger, 
type of the Holy Spirit, is sent forth by the father to find and 
bring home a bride for his once slain and now risen son ; for 
such virtually was Isaac, whom it is said Abraham "offered 
up . . . offered up his only begotten [son] . . . accounting 
that God was able to raise [him] from out the dead, whence 
he received him as a figure [of the resurrection of Christ]." 
The rejoicing of Isaac over his fair young bride, resplendent 
in the "jewels of gold and raiment" that he had provided 
for her through Eliezer's gifts, is but a faint image of the 
rejoicing of the Heavenly Bridegroom over His mystic bride, 
"the Church of the Firstborn," endowed with immortal youth 
and beauty, for this adopted daughter of the King Eternal 
is "all glorious within," that is, "beneath her veil," for 
"her clothing is gold embroidery" — even the glorious mantle 
He has given her, the robe of His own perfect righteousness. 
(Heb. xi. 17-19 ; Ps. xlv. 14.) 





















[The note applies to the passage which ends with the word given in quotation marks, 
following the number of the line. The number of the line is counted from the 
top of the page.] 


" water " — Gen. xxiv. II. 

" day "—Gen. iii. 8. 

" camels " — Gen. xii. 16 ; xxiv. 19, 44. 

" camels " — Gen. xxxvii. 25. 

"Midian" — Gen. xxv. 2; 1 Chron. i. 32; Ex. ii. 15-19. 

" number " — Jud. vi. 5 ; vii. 12. 

" shoe " — Mark i. 7 ; Luke iii. 18. 

" shirts "—Mark vi. 9. 

" sandals " — Acts xii. 8. See also Gen. xiv. 23, " shoe- 
latchet," and Deut. xxv. 9, " loosing the shoe." 
3 22 " Bible " — Gen. xxiii. 7 ; xlii. 6 ; Ex. v. 10. 
3 25 " gladly " — Mark xii. 37. 

3 29 " coat " — Matt. v. 40 ; x. 10 ; Luke iii. 2 ; Acts ix. 39 ; 

this kamise is the kctoneth of the Old Testament ; also 
translated " coat," Gen. iii. 21 ; Ex. xxviii. 4, 40 ; xxxix. 
27 ; Lev. x. 5 ; xvi. 4 ; 2 Sam. xv. 32 ; Job xxx. 18 ; 
also called beged, Gen. xii. 42 ; Lev. xiii. 47 ; xvi. 23 ; 
xix. 19 ; Job xiii. 28, etc. 

4 1 " work " — 1 Pet. i. 12. 

4 1 " service " — Luke xii. 35 ; John xiii. 4, 5. 

4 1 " travelling " — Ex. xii. 11 ; 1 Kings xviii. 46 ; 2 Kings iv. 29 ; 

ix. 1 ; John xxi. 18 ; Acts xii. 8 ; xvii. 8. 
4 1 " warfare " — Deut. i. 41 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 39 ; xxv. 13 ; 

2 Sam. xxii. 40 ; 1 Kings ii. 5 ; Ps. xviii. 39 ; xlv. 3 ; 

Isa. viii. 9. 


262 Appendix 


4 2 " strength " — i Sam. ii. 4 ; Job xxxviii. 3 ; xl. 7 ; Ps. xviii. 

32 ; xxii. 21 ; xciii. 1 ; Prov. xxxi. 17 ; Isa. xi. 5 ; 

xiv. 5 ; Jer. i. 17. 
4 3 "weaken" — Job xii. 18; Isa. v. 27; Acts xxi. 11. 
4 6 " dress " — Ps. cix. 8, 9 ; Jer. xiii. 11. 

7 27 " substance " — The Levites were allowed a " suburb," or 

"place for driving out cattle" (migrash), extending to 
2,000 cubits from the wall of the city outward, east, south, 
west and north, for " their cattle, their goods, and all their 
beasts " (Numb. xxxv. 3-5). Concerning this deprivation 
of an inheritance of agricultural land, Jehovah declares to 
Aaron and his descendants the priests, and all the de- 
scendants of Levi, the Levites, "I am thy portion and 
thine inheritance (Num. xviii. 20 ; see also Deut. x. 9 ; 
xviii. 1, 2 ; Josh. xiii. 14, 33 ; Ezek. xliv. 28) ; a beautiful 
metalepsis, where " I " (" Jehovah ") is put by metonymy 
for " My sendee," and " My service " by another 
metonymy stands for " the emoluments and payments 
attached to that service." These consisted of certain 
sacrifices or parts of sacrifices and food offerings (Numb. 
xviii. 8, n ; Deut. xviii. 1,3; of tithes (Lev. xxvii. 3°-33 ; 
Numb, xviii. 21, 24) ; of firstfruits (Numb, xviii. 12, 13 ; 
Deut. xviii. 4) ; of things vowed or devoted to Jehovah 
(Lev. xxvii. 1-28 ; Numb, xviii. 14) ; and of the first- 
born of man and beast (Ex. xxxiv. 19, 20 ; Numb, xviii. 

8 3 " village " — It is true that Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Caper- 

naum are each called polis, " city," and not home, "village," 
in the Greek New Testament ; but this is the synecdoche 
of the species, by which polis, " city," the species, is put for 
the genus, "place of habitation," without distinguishing 
what kind, for this trope occurs very often in Holy Scrip- 
ture, and these three homes of the Lord Jesus were 
undoubtedly villages, though probably very large ones. 
At Capernaum, Tel Hum, the ruins are very extensive. 
8 32 " well " — John iv. 11. 

Appendix 263 


9 20 " head "—Matt. viii. 20 ; Luke ix. 58. 

9 23 " rich "—2 Cor. viii. 9. 

IO 21 "enters" — Luke xxii. 10; Mark xir. 13, 14. 
'5 31 " number " — Jud. vi. 1-6. 
16 26 "horse" — Ps. xlvii. 10. 
16 27 " horses "— Ps. xx. 7. 
16 29 " swift " — Isa. xxx. 16. 

16 31 " strength " — Job xxxix. 19. 

17 15 " identification " — Gen. xxxviii. 18. 

17 23 "Hebrews" — Gen. xlvii. 31; Heb. xi. 21. 
17 25 " matteh " — Ex. iv. 1, 2. 

17 26 " staff " — Ex. vii. 10, 12, 29 ; viii. 5, etc. 
»7 30 " up " — Ex. vii. 10-12. 

18 1 "signs" — Ex. iv. 17. 

18 3 " matteh " — Ex. iv. 20 ; xvii. 9. 

18 9 "staff" — Numb. xvii. 1-10. 

18 11 " Himself "—Matt. xxii. 41-46. 

18 14 " enemies " — Ps. ex. 2. 

18 15 " hand " — Ps. ex. 1. 

18 16 " Melchizedek " — Ps. ex. 4. 

i 8 18 " Zion "— Ps. ex. 2. 

18 3i " Jerusalem " — Speaking of high priesthood, Paul says, " No 
man takes the honour unto himself, but when he is 
called of God, as was Aaron. Thus Christ also did not 
glorify Himself to be made a high priest, but He Who 
spoke to Him, ' Thou art My Son, to-day have I begotten 
Thee' " (Heb. v. 4, 5). Now, these last words — quoted 
from Ps. ii. 7 — refer, we know, to Messiah's resurrection, 
for the same apostle says in another place, " He has 
raised up Jesus again ; as it is also written in the second 
psalm, ' Thou art My Son, to-day have I begotten Thee ' " 
(Acts xiii. 33). The Lord Himself three times rests the 
proof of His Divine mission on His rising from the dead 
on the third day, and says this is the one sign that would 
be given to the rebels in Israel in His day (John ii. 19-21 ; 
Matt. xii. 38-40 ; xvi. 4). 




23 " 




4 " 


*7 " 


26 " 


7 " 


7 " 


11 " 


18 " 


21 " 


32 " 
































pillars " — Ex. xxvi. 32. 

one " — Ex. xxxvi. 17, 18. 

city " — Ezra ix. 8. 

centre " — Numb. ii. 17. 

hhatzairecm " — Gen. xxv. 16. See also Deut. ii. 23. 

thorns " — Ps. lviii. 9 ; cxviii. 12. 

dung " — Ezek. iv. 15. 

killed " — Gen. xviii. 7 ; Acts x. 13. 

boiling " — Gen. xxv. 29. 

lentils " — Gen. xxv. 34. 

food " — This word Ichhem is constantly translated " bread," 
but it means edible food of any kind. 

it " — The word hhcmah seems clearly to stand for the 
Arabic leben in Gen. xviii. 8 ; 2 Sam. xvii. 29 ; Job xx. 
17 ; xxix. 6 ; Isa. vii. 5, 22. 

horses " — 1 Kings iv. 28. 

it " — 2 Kings hi. 25. 

catapults " — 2 Chron. xxvi. 14. 

bag " — 1 Sam. xvii. 40. 

pasture " — John x. 1, 7, 9. 

respectively " — 1 Sam. iv. 1 ; 

God"— Ps. xlii. 1. 

Gibeon " — 1 Chron. xxi. 29 ; 

services " — 2 Sam. vi. 15-18 
2 Chron. i. 4. 

plain " — Gen. xiii. 12 ; xix. 28, 29 ; 2 Sam. xviii. 23. 

Jordan " — Gen. xiii. 10, 11 ; 1 Kings vii. 46. 

neighbourhood " — Deut. i. 7 ; hi. 17 ; iv. 49 ; Josh. xi. 16 ; 
2 Kings xxv. 4 ; Jer. xxxix. 4. 

baptising " — Matt. xi. 7 ; Luke vii. 24. 

Jordan " — Jer. xiii. 5 ; xlix. 19 ; 1. 44. 

roebuck" — The yahhmoor of the Hebrew Bible, ren- 
dered " fallow deer " in the Authorised Version, and 
" roebuck " in the Revised Version (Deut. xiv. 5 ; 
1 Kings ix. 23). 

Josh. xv. 53. 
xvi. 39-42 ; 2 Chron. i. 
1 Chron. xvi. 1-6, 37; 




62 5 

62 20 

62 33 


12 " 




31 " 


2 " 


3 " 




4 " 


2 " 


20 " 


26 " 


32 " 


18 " 


30 " 


12 " 


24 " 

2 Sam. xxiii. 20 ; 

gazelle " — The tzebee or teme of the Hebrew Bible, rendered 
" roebuck " and " roe " in the Authorised Version, but 
rightly " gazelle " in the Revised Version (Deut. xii. 15, 
22 ; xiv. 5 ; xv. 22 ; 2 Sam. ii. 18 ; 1 Kings iv. 23 ; 

1 Chron. xii. 8 ; Prov. vi. 5 ; Cant. ii. 7, 9, 17 ; iii. 5 ; 
viii. 4 ; Isa. xiii. 14). 

Jordan " — Numb, xxxii. 3, 36. 

leopards " — Cant. iv. 8. 

kid " — Isa. xi. 6. 

sadeh " — Gen. ii. 19, 20 ; Deut. vii. 22 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 44 ; 

2 Sam. xxi. 10 ; Job v. 23 ; xl. 20. 

pastures " — Ps. lxv. 12 ; Joel ii. 22. Compare Isa. xxxii. 14. 

Carmel " — 1 Sam. xxv. 7. 

Israel " — Jud. xiv. 5 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 34 
1 Kings xiii. 24 ; 2 Kings xvii. 25. 

sheep " — John x. 11. 

sheep " — John xxi. 16. 

flock " — Acts xx. 29, 30. 

mouth " — 1 Sam. xvii. 34, 35. 

inn " — Luke ii. 7 

physician " — Luke ii. 7 ; Col. iv. 14. 

corn " — Ex. xi. 5. 

low " — Eccles. xii. 4. But the grinding here may be spoken 
of the teeth by way of metaphor, and may be an 
affecting allusion to the failure of power to masticate in 
the case of toothless old age, for in the previous verse 
we read, " ' Grinders ' shall cease because they are few " ; 
and to this day we speak of a back or double tooth as 
" a grinder." 

mocking " — Gen. xxi. 8, 9. 

called " — The Approaching End of the Age, by Dr. H. 
Grattan Guinness, 2nd edition, p. 478. 

weaned " — Specially beautiful and forceful is the light this 
late weaning throws on the words of David : " Have I not 
calmed and kept silent my soul, like [a child] weaned by 
his mother ? My soul within me is like a weaned child 

266 Appendix 


(Ps. cxxxi. 2). To us the idea of a " weaned child " con- 
veys only the thought of helpless and unconscious infancy. 
But " the man after God's own heart " is here speaking of 
conscious humility, deeply felt need, and perfect trust in 
a father's care ; and he could not give a more apt illustra- 
tion of these than a picture of a young child of three to 
five years of age. David's Lord also gave the very same 
illustration when He " called to Him a little child, 
and said, ' Amen, I say unto you, Except ye turn and 
become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the 
kingdom of heaven. Whosoever, therefore, shall humble 
himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the 
kingdom of heaven ' " (Matt, xviii. 2-4). 
64 13 " to-day " — Job v. 25 ; Ps. xc. 5 ; cii. 4, n ; ciii. 15 ; 
Prov. xix. 12 ; xxvii. 25 ; Isa. xl. 6, 7 ; 1 Pet. i. 24, etc. 
house " — Matt. v. 15. 
houses " — Job xxiv. 16. 

pit " — See also Jer. xlviii. 43, 44 ; Lam. iii. 17. 
lire" — See also Ex. xiii. 21 ; xiv. 20; Numb. ix. 15, 16; 
Deut. i. 32. 
72 24 " night " — " Night and darkness " (Prov. vii. 9) is the gram- 
matical figure of hendiadys for " dark night." The word 
ccshoan, here " pupil of the eye," means literally the 
" little man," or " manikin," because the small image of 
a person is seen mirrored in the pupil or centre of the eye. 
So, by the trope of metonymy, the tiny image seen re- 
flected in the pupil is put for the pupil itself ; that is, the 
thing contained is put for the container. 

" there " — 1 Kings xi. 36. 

" Testament " — Matt. v. 40 ; xvii. 2 ; xxvii. 35 ; Acts 
xxii. 20. 

" Father "—Matt. v. 16. 

" thee " — Luke xi. 7. 

" it " — Gen. xliii. 34. 

" aristesate " — John xxi. 9-13. 

" just " — Luke xiv. 12-14. 





6 9 
































thee " — 1 Sam. viii. 7. 
you " — Gen. xlv. 8. 
life " — John vi. 37. 

it " — Fine instances of this form of Hebrew comparison 
Prov. viii. 10 ; Jer. vii. 22, 23 ; Hosea 
Matt. x. 34 ; Mark xiii. 11 ; John 
47 ; xiv. 24 ; xv. 15, 16 

occur in Ex. xvi. 8 ; 
vi. 6 ; Joel xi. 13 ; 
vi. 27 ; vii. 16 ; xii. 

Eph. vi. 

; xvi 

12 ; 

13 ; 


Rev. xix. 


1 " 


28 " 




31 " 


33 " 


2 " 



9 " 


11 " 


13 " 


23 " 


6 " 

2 Cor. iv. 18 ; v. 15 ; vii. 9 ; xiii. 7 
i. 16, 17 ; iv. 17 ; 1 Thess. ii. 4 ; iv. 8. 
day " — Mark vi. 21 ; Luke xiv. 16 ; John xii. 2 

9, 17- 

evenings " — Ex. xii. 6. 

disciples " — Matt. xiv. 19 ; Mark vi. 41 ; Luke ix. 16. 

loaves " — Matt. xv. 36 ; Mark viii. 

disciples " — Matt. xxvi. 25 ; Mark xiv. 22 ; Luke xxii. 19 ; 
1 Cor. xi. 24. 

them " — Luke xxiv. 30. 

home " — Acts ii. 46. 

break " — 1 Cor. x. 16. 

meal " — Matt. xv. 2 ; Mark vii. 1-5 ; Luke xi. 38. 

vinegar " — Ruth ii. 14. 

Me " — Matt. xxvi. 23 ; Mark xiv. 20. 

Gospel " — John xiii. 26. 

year " — The severest cold of the year in all northern 
latitudes comes in January and February. This is often 
intensified in Palestine by very high, piercing winds and 
thunderstorms, which occur there in winter, as they do 
with us in summer, accompanied by alarming falls of huge 
hailstones, mingled with lightning. This combination is 
alluded to as most distressing in several passages. Thus, 
Isaiah speaks of the terror of the Assyrians' beating down 
when Jehovah arises for Israel's deliverance, " the coming 
down of His arm He shows with the raging of anger, and 
the flame of a consuming fire [lightning], [cloud] burst, 
rain storm, and hailstones " (Isa. xxx. 30). The psalmist 
speaks of this combination : " Fire, hail, snow, smoke 





II " 

8 " 












II ' 


16 ' 


17 ' 


19 ' 


19 ' 


20 ' 




20 ' 


32 ' 


19 ' 


6 ' 

"or ' gloom '], and stormy wind " (Ps. cxlviii. 8). I 

have known of a Highland gillie who was exhausted 

and terrified by exposure to such a Palestine winter 

storm. See Ex. ix. 23-25 ; Ps. xviii. 13 ; lxxviii. 47 ; 

cv. 32 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 22. 
rain " — Deut. xi. 14 ; Jer. v. 14 ; Hos. vi. 3 ; Joel ii. 23 ; 

Jas. v. 7. 
Versions " — Gen. ii. 5, 19 ; hi. 18 ; xxxvii. 7 ; Ex. ix. 19 ; 

xx. 5 ; xxiii. 16 ; Lev. xix. 9 ; xxv. 3, 4 ; Deut. xi. 15 ; 

xxviii. 38 ; Jud. i. 14 ; Ruth ii. 2, 3 ; 1 Sam. xx. 24, 35 ; 

Job xxiv. 6 ; Ps. cvii. 37 ; Joel i. 11, etc. 
sadeh " — Gen. xxxiii. 19. Sec also 2 Sam. xiv. 30 ; 2 Kings 

ix. 21, 25 ; Job xxiv. iS ; Jer. xii. 10. 
kid " — 1 Sam. xvii. 40 ; Matt. x. 10 ; Mark vi. 8 ; Luke 

ix. 3 ; x. 4 ; xxii. 35, 36. 
measuring line " — Ps. lxxviii. 55 ; Amos vii. 17 ; Zech. ii. 1. 
landmark " — Sec also Deut. xix. 14. 
land " — Gen. xxiii. 7, 13 ; Ex. v. 5 ; Lev. xx. 2, 4 ; Numb. 

xiv. 9 ; 2 Kings xi. 14-20, etc. 
showers " — The Hebrew verb " dissolve," here moag, occurs 

in a very strong and emphatic form by the doubling of 

its third radical letter "g": temoaggenak, which means 

"thoroughly or completely dissolve." 
Babylon " — Jer. xxvii. 8, 11. 
upright " — Lev. xxvi. 13. 
bondage " — 1 Kings xii. 4, 9-11 ; xlvii. 6 ; Acts xv. 10 ; 

Gal. v. 1, etc. 
bondage " — Deut. xxviii. 48 ; Jer. xxviii. 13, 14. 
yoke " — Gen. xxvii. 40 ; Isa. ix. 4 ; Jer. ii. 20 ; xxviii. 

2, 4, 11 ; xxx. 8. 
yoke " — Lev. xxvi. 13 ; Ezek. xxxiv. 27. 
God " — Luke ix. 62. 
goads " — Acts xxvi. 14 
cold " — Eccles. xi. 4. 
sheaves " — Ps. exxvi. 5, 6. 
ended " — Jer. v. 20. 



1 06 




Appendix 26 9 

pags line 

103 20 " Hebrews "—Gen. 1. 10 ; Numb, xviii. 27 ; Ruth iii. 2 ; 

1 Sam. xxiii. i, 2 ; 2 Sam. vi. 6 ; xxiv. 16, 18, 21, 24. 

104 3 " down " — 2 Kings xiii. 7 ; 1 Chron. xxi. 20 ; Isa. xxviii. 27. 
104 10 "teeth" — Isa. xli. 15; xxviii. 27. 

104 14 " wagon " — Isa. xxviii. 27. 

105 11 " threshing " — 2 Kings xiii. 7. 

105 28 " teven "—Gen. xxiv. 25 ; Jud. xix. 19 ; Job xli. 27 ; Isa. 

xl. 7, etc. ; Job xxi. 8 ; xli. iS ; Jer. xxiii. 28, etc. 
105 30 " stubble "—Ex. v. 12 ; Job xiii. 25 ; xli. 29 ; Ps. lxxxiii. 13 ; 
Isa. v. 24 ; xli. 2 ; Joel ii. 5, etc. 

kingdom " — Matt. xiii. 38. 

wicked " — Job xxi. iS ; Jer. xxiii. 28. 

wheat " — Severe indeed was Peter's silting. All that night 
of anxiety and sad and sudden surprises, Satan kept Peter 
tossed about with gloomy fears. But the Master had 
prayed for him that his faith might not utterly fail, and 
he emerged from the trial a sadder but a wiser and a 
better man. Satan's cruel and malicious assault was thus 
by Divine power overruled for the true end for which 
all sifting is employed, namely, the purification of that 
which is subjected to the process. The tempter's object 
was to lead Peter to despair and ruin, as he had led 
Judas. But in the hands of that One Who is stronger 
than he, and Who is ever bringing good out of evil, 
Satan becomes only a blundering slave to sift the wheat 
that is thus, as by a final process, prepared for the 
Master's use ! 
114 9 " fellahheen "— When the prophet Ezekiel was commanded, 
in order to symbolise a famine of bread and water that 
was being sent as a judgment on Jerusalem, to bake a 
barley cake with human dung and eat it, on his pleading 
with God, the word came to him : " See, I have given to 
thee bullock's dung instead of man's dung, and thou shalt 
make [that is, 'bake'] thy bread with it" (Ezek. iv. 
12-15). In these words permission was given him to use 
the ordinary fuel of the villagers. 

27° Appendix 

fool " — See also Jer. xviii. 14 : " Does snow of Lebanon 

cease from the rock of the open land ? Are the cold, 

strange waters that gently flow from [it] failed ? " 
olive " — Deut. viii. 2 ; 2 Kings xviii. 32. 
fruit " — Gen. xxiii. 17. 
Bible " — Gen. viii. 8-1 1. 
fig " — Gen. hi. 5, 7. 
oil " — Dcut. xxxiii. 24. 
presses " — Job xxix. 6. 
flourishes " — Deut. xxxii. 13. 
Church " — Rom. xi. 16-24 '> Zech. iv. 11-14. 
Orient " — Zech. iv. 2-6. 
direction " — For a full description of the thar, sec the 

author's Pictured Palestine, 5th edition, pp. 230-43. 
death " — Numb. xxxv. 31. 
life " — Ex. xxi. 28-30. 
sons " — 2 Sam. xxi. 3-6. 
him " — Numb. xxxv. 19-21. 
die " — Deut. xix. n, 12. 
die " — Deut. xiii. 9, 10. 
die " — Deut. xxi. 18-21. 
death " — The forty-five different offences punished under 

the law of Moses by the sentence of death are given in the 

following texts : Gen. ix. 5, 6 (see also Ex. xxi. 12 ; Lev. 

xxiv. 17 ; Numb. xxxv. 16-21, 30) ; Ex. xxi. 15 ; xxi. 16 ; 

xxi. 17 (see also Lev. xx. 9) ; Ex. xxi. 29 ; xxii. 18 ; xxii. 

19 (see also Lev. xx. 15, 16) ; Ex. xxii. 20 (see also Deut. 

xvii. 2-5) ; Ex. xxx. 33, 38 ; xxxi. 14, 15 (see also xxxv. 2 ; 

Numb. xv. 32-36) ; Lev. vii. 20, 21 ; vii. 25 ; vii. 27 ; viii. 

35 ; x. 1, 2 ; xvii. 3, 4, 8, 9 ; xix. 8 ; xx. 2-4 ; xx. 6 ; xx. n ; 

xx. 12 ; xx. 13 ; xx. 14 ; xx. 17 ; xx. 18 ; xxi. 9 ; xxiv. 

14-16 ; Numb. hi. 10 ; iv. 15 ; iv. 20 ; ix. 13 ; xviii. 22 ; 

xix. 13 ; Deut. xiii. 9, 10 ; xvii. 12 ; xviii. 20 ; xix. 16 ; 

xxi. 1S-21 ; xxii. 20, 21 ; xxii. 22 (see also Lev. xx. 15) ; 

Deut. xxii. 25 ; xxii. 23, 24 ; xxii. 25. 
131 2 "who? " — 2 Kings ix. 32. 

( A'.E 








































Appendix 271 


131 27 " ullaloos " — See pp. 229, 230. 

132 21 " Franks " — Tent Work in Palestine, by Major C. R. Conder, 

R.E., vol. ii. p. 286. 

133 22 " safe " — Here the believer who honours God by publicly 

calling upon His name, and by confessing before men his 
trust in the Most High as his defender, is represented as 
if he had fled into a strong place of refuge, where he finds 
safety from his foes. When Satan, like the avenger of 
blood, seeks our destruction, let us call upon the name 
of our great and compassionate champion. The believing 
soul that in simple trust turns to the Lord Jesus, and 
makes mention of His righteousness only ; the soul that 
thus appeals to Christ by confessing its own helplessness 
and danger, and by placing itself unreservedly and by 
public confession under His protection, shall assuredly 
find the help of One Who is mighty to save, and 
Who never fails to vindicate the honour of His great 
" harp " — 1 Kings xv. 20. 
" Gennesaret " — Luke v. 1. 
" attention " — Josephus, Wars of the Jcivs, bk. hi. ch. x. 

sec. 8. 
" Jews " — Lev. xi. 9-12. 

" fish " — Matt. xiv. 15-21 ; Mark vi. 37-44 ; Luke ix. 12-17 ; 
Matt. xv. 29-38 ; Mark viii. 1-9 ; John xxi. 9, 13. 
138 9 "fish" — Luke xxiv. 41-43. The words added in the Author- 
ised Version, " and of a honeycomb," are omitted by 
the best texts, though it is very interesting to note 
that fish in Palestine is served with honey and sweet 
feast " — John v. 10, 16-20. 

shameful " — Deut. xxiii. 14 ; Nah. hi. 5 ; Rev. xvi. 15. 
stream " — Isa. xix. 8. See also Job xii. 1 ; Hab. I, 15. 
you " — Gen. xxii. 5. See also Gen. xliii. 10 ; 1 Kings xxii. 
27 ; Prov. iii. 28 ; Acts xviii. 21. 
*49 17 " thee " — 2 Kings iv. 24. 



















27- Appendix 


153 5 " towns " — 2 Kings xxii. 10. 

153 6 " leaves " — 2 Chron. viii. 1 ; Neh. vi. 1 ; Jer. xlix. 3 ; Ezek. 

xli. 24. 

153 12 " walls " — Lev. xv. 30 ; Numb. xiii. 2 ; Deut. ii. 28. 

153 19 " sunset " — Josh. ii. 5 ; Neh. xiii. 19. 

153 25 " lodge " — Neh. iii. 3. 6, 13-15. 

154 4 " Bible " — Job vi. 12 ; xl. 18 ; xli. 27. 

154 5 " boards " — Ex. xxxvi. 38 ; xxxviii. 11, 17, 19, 20. 

154 6 " laver " — Ex. xxxviii. 2-8. 

154 7 " copper " — 1 Sam. xvii. 5, 6. 

154 8 " copper " — 2 Chron. iv. 9. 

154 9 " copper " — Ps. cvii. 16. 

154 10 " copper " — Isa. xlv. 2. 

154 11 "copper" — 1 Kings iv. 13. 

154 15 " bars " — Acts xii. 10. 

154 15 " mentioned " — Deut. iii. 5 ; 1 Sam. xxiii. 7 ; 2 Chron. viii. 5 ; 

Jer. xlv. 31 ; Ezek. xxviii. n, iS. 

154 16 " gates " — Ps. cxlvii. 13. 

'54 23 " unprotected " — Neh. i. 3 ; ii. 3, 13, 17 ; Jer. xvii. 27 ; li. 58. 

156 12 " kesetJi " — Ezek. ix. 2, 3, n. 

156 15 " reed " — Jer. viii. 8 ; Ps. xlv. 1 ; 3 John 13. 

157 2 " toll " — Matt. ix. 9 ; Luke v. 27-32. 
157 5 " district " — Luke xix. 1-10. 

157 24 " baskets " — John vi. 5-14 ; Matt. xiv. 15, 21. 

157 34 " larger " — Matt. xv. 17 ; Mark viii. 8. 

158 14 " prison " — Gen. xl. 16-22. 

161 10 "Scripture" — Prov. i. 20; Cant. iii. 2; Luke xiv. 21; Acts 

ix. 11. 

162 11 " indignation " — Neh. v. 6-13. 

162 25 " poor " — Ex. v. 7 ; Lev. xii. 8 ; Luke ii. 24. 

164 15 " red " — Ex. xxv. 5 ; xxvi. 14. 

164 26 " carry " — Matt. iii. 11. 

164 27 " poverty " — Luke xv. 22. 

164 27 " mourning " — 2 Sam. xv. 30 ; Ezek. xxiv. 17. 

171 11 "Well"— See p. 7. 

17* 15 " bakbook " — Jer. xix. 1, 10. 

Appendix 273 


172 2 " ambassadors "—2 Sam. x. 4/5. Sec also Isa. vii. 20 ; Jer. 

xli. 5 ; xlviii. 37 ; Ezek. v. 1. 

173 21 " Hittite "— Gen. xxiii. 11. 
»77 27 "me" — Numb. xi. 11, 25. 

178 4 judgments "—Isa. xiii. 1 ; Jer. xxiii. 33-38 ; Lam. ii. 14 ; 
Ezek. xii. 10 ; Hos. viii. 10 ; Nah. i. 1 ; Hab. i. 1. 

180 22 " judgment "—So the Roman chiliarch, tribune, or colonel, 
in charge of the garrison at Jerusalem, when Paul's 
nephew came to reveal to him the plot against his uncle's 
life, in order to set him at his ease and win his confidence, 
" took him by the hand," or, as we should say, " gave 
him his arm," to take him aside privately, in order, by 
showing him this mark of respect, to win his confidence 
(Acts xxiii. 19). The psalmist, speaking of the happy, 
familiar intercourse that he held with God, and of the 
gracious Divine patronage he enjoyed, cries, " Thou takest 
hold of my right hand" (Ps. lxxiii. 23). The proverb, 
alluding to the close confederacy of the wicked, says, 
" Though hand in hand [that is, ' arm in arm '], the evil 
man shall not be unpunished " (Prov. xi. 21). Of the 
ruin of Jerusalem, the mother of Israel, Isaiah declares, 
' There is not one to take hold of her hand of all the 
sons she has made great [that is, ' has brought up,' or 
'nourished'] " (Isa. Ii. 8). For other striking allusions 
to this custom, see Job viii. 20 ; Ps. cxxxix. 5 ; Isa. xli. 13 ; 
xlii. 6 ; xlv. 1 ; Jer. xxxi. 32. 

180 26 " protection "—Gen. xix. 8; Numb. xiv. 9; Jud. ix. 15; 
Ps. xvii. 8 ; xci. 1; etc. 

180 29 " accuracy "—Job vii. 2 ; viii. 9 ; xiv. 2 ; Ps. cii. 11 ; Eccles. 
vi. 12. 

185 8 "oil"— 2 Kings xx. 13; Ps. cxxxiii. 2; Eccles. vii. 1; 
ix. 8 ; Cant. i. 3 ; Isa. xxxix. 2 ; lvii. 9 ; Amos vi. 6. 

185 9 " myrrh "—Matt. xxvi. 7, 9, 12 ; Mark xiv. 3 ; John xi. 2 ; 
xii. 3 ; Rev. xvii. 13. 

192 27 " slavery "—Ex. xi. 44; Deut. xxiii. 15. 

193 28 " slaves "—Ex. xxi. 2-11 ; Deut. xv. 12-18. 

274 Appendix 


192 34 " war " — 2 Chron. xxix. 9. 

193 1 " debts "—2 Kings iv. 1 ; Matt, xviii. 25. 
193 1 " parents " — Ex. xxi. 7. 

193 2 " relatives " — Gen. xxxvii. 27, 28. 

193 6 "wage "—Ex. xii. 45 ; Lev. xxii. 10 ; xxv. 6, 40, 50, 53 ; 

Mark i. 20 ; Luke xv. 17. 

193 13 " servant "—2 Kings iii. 11. Sec also 1 Kings xix. 21. 

193 25 " bread "—Gen. xliii. 31. Compare Gen. xliii. 32 ; Ex. ii. 20 ; 

xviii. 12 ; Lev. xxi. 21, 22 ; xxii. 25. 

201 30 "acts" — Deut. xi. 4. 

201 31 "brimstone" — Gen. xix. 24. 

201 32 " odours " — 2 Chron. xvi. 14. 

201 33 " assembly " — Isa. i. 13. 

201 34 " speech " — Luke xxi. 15. 

202 1 " grace " — John i. 14, 17. 
202 2 "ministry" — Acts i. 25. 
202 3 " Christ " — Eph. v. 5. 
202 4 " philosophy " — Col. ii. 8. 
202 5 "life"— 2 Tim. iv. I, 2. 

209 25 " bedchamber "—2 Kings xi. 2 ; 2 Chron. xxii. 11; Eccles. 

x. 20. 
209 27 " floor "—Matt. ix. 6 ; Mark ii. 9 ; Mark vii. 30 ; John v. 8-12. 
216 17 " generally "—1 Chron. xv. 16; xvi. 42; 2 Chron. v. 13; 

vii. 6 ; xxiii. 13 ; xxxiv. 12 ; Neh. xii. 36. See also 

2 Chron. xxx. 21. 
16 " Bible "—1 Sam. x. 5 ; 1 Kings i. 40 ; Isa. v. 12 ; xxx. 29 ; 

Jer. xlviii. 3°- 

218 22 " viol"— Isa. v. 12 ; xiv. 11 ; Amos v. 23 ; vi. 5. 

2 ,8 23 " psaltery "— 1 Sam. x. 5 ; 2 Sam. vi. 5 ; 1 Kings x. 12 ; 

1 Chron. xvi. 5. 

219 4 " instrument "—Dan. iii. 5, 7, 10, 15. 

219 24 "sistra"— 1 Sam. vi. 5- See also Ps. cl. 5. 

219 27 "music"— 1 Chron. xiii. 8; xv. 16, 19, 28; xvi. 5. 42 ; 

2 Chron. v. 12, 13 ; Ezra iii. 10 ; Neh. xii. 27, etc. 

220 3 " toaph "—Ex. xv. 30. 
220 5 " father "— Jud. xi. 34. 


























































music "—2 Sam. vi. 5 ; 1 Chron. xiii. 8 ; Ps. lxxxi. 2 ; 

cxl. 3 ; cl. 4. 
Miriam " — Ex. xv. 1-21. 
Barak " — Jud. v. 
impunity" — "Marriages between First Cousins: Their 

Effects," by George H. Darwin, M.A., Journal of the 

Statistical Society, vol. xxxviii. pp. 152-82 ; see also 

pp. 344-48. 
forbidden " — Deut. xii. 31 ; xviii. 10 ; Jer. xxxii. 35 ; 

Ezek. xxiii. 37. 
Deut. xxiv. 1 " — " Uncleanness " in this verse stands for 

" disfavour." 
£10 " — Deut. xxii. 28, 29 ; Ex. xxii. 16, 17. 
wife " — Ruth iv. 9, 10. 
Testament " — Matt. xx. 2. 
£73 " — Gen. xxix. 5-28. 
bride " — Josh. xv. 16, 17. 

200 " — 1 Sam. xviii. 22-27 '> 2 Sam. hi. 14 ; xviii. 17-19. 
word " — 1 Sam. xvii. 25. 

Him " — Matt, xxvii. 55 ; Mark xv. 41 ; Matt. viii. 15. 
property " — Luke viii. 3. 

uncovered " — 2 Sam. vi. 12-16 ; 1 Chron. xv. 25-29. 
marble " — Ps. cxliv. 12. 
husband " — Rev. xxi. 2, 9. 
times " — Prov. xxv. 11 ; Cant. ii. 3, 5 ; vii. 8 ; viii. 5 ; 

Joel i. 12. 
spread " — Job xvii. 13 ; xli. 30. 
nose-rings " — Isa. hi. 21. 
bedchamber " — 2 Kings i. 4-6. 
bed "—Esther vii. 8. 

colour " — Jud. v. 10 ; Rev. vi. 2 ; xix. 11, 14. 
Bible " — John xviii. 3. 

Chcdorlaomer " — Gen. xiv. 17 ; Heb. vii. i, 10. 
welcome " — Gen. iv. 17 ; xviii. 2 ; xix. 1 ; xxiv. 17, 65 ; 

xxix. 13 ; xxx. 16 ; xxxii. 6 ; xlvi. 29 ; Ex. iv. 14, 27 ; 

xviii. 7. 




34 " 


34 " 


2 " 




4 " 


4 " 


6 " 


7 " 


8 " 




11 " 


16 " 


14 " 




7 " 


28 " 


29 " 


3i " 


5 " 

Balaam " — Numb. xxii. 36. 

Samuel " — 1 Sam. xiii. 10-14. 

Israel " — Josh. ix. 11. 

women " — Jud. xi. 54. 

David " — 1 Sam. xxv. 18-20. 

ambassadors " — 2 Sam. x. 5. 

Saul " — 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7. 

Jerusalem " — 2 Sam. xix. 15-40. 

Elisha " — -2 Kings ii. 15. 

Jehu " — 2 Kings ix. 21. 

Him " — John xii. 12, 13. 

welcome " — Acts xxviii. 15. 

evening "—Gen. xxiv. 13. Compare v. 67. 

people " — 2 Kings iv. 13. 

woman " — John iv. 27. 

nose " — Gen. xxiv. 22, 47. 

bangles " — Gen. xxiv. 22. 

presents " — Gen. xxiv. 53. 

herself " — Gen. xxiv. 55. 

Index to Scripture References 

NOTE. — Further references to Scripture passages will be found in the Appendix, 






2 Samuel 


1 AGE 



i. 27, 28 


XX. 10 . 

. 225 

v. 15 . 

. I84 

iv. 7 


iii. 21 . 

■ M7 

xxv. 29-31 


xi v. 3, 4 


vii. 27 . 


iv. 10 . 


xxvi . 1 3 


xx. 4 

• '55 

xiv. 25, 26 


iv. 21 


xxvii. 32 


xx. 5, 6 


XV. 2 


viii. 22 . 


xix. 8 . 

x 55 

ix. 6 




xii. 1 


xvi. 15 . 

■ 76 

iii. 31 . 


1 Kings 

xiii. 10 . 


xvii. 1-10 


v. 10 

. 161 

iv. 28 


XV. 2 


xxxii. 16 

• 36 

v. 14 

• 156 

v. 1 1 


XV. 12 . 


xxxv. 1 -1 5 


v. 24 

v. 25 
v. 28 

x- 45 


xvi. ii, 12 


XXXV. 12, 25 



xi. 38 


xviii. 9-15 


xv. 4 


xix. 16 . 



v. 30 

xvii. 12 


xxii. 5 . 


viii. 8 . 


ix. 8-15 


2 Kings 

xxiv. 10-14 ■ 


xi. 14 . 


xi. 34-40 


i. 2 


xxiv. 14, 17 


xvi. 18 . 


xiv. 12 . 


i. 4-6 


xxiv. 67 


xxi. 19 . 


xvi. 3 . 


iv. 2 


xxxi. 34 


xxi. 22, 23 


xx. 16 . 


iv. 22 


xliii. 16 


xxii. 8 . 


iv. 24 


xxii. 15, 24 



v. 12 



xxii. 22 


i. 1 1 


vi. 12 


xxiii. 24, 25 


iv. 1 1 


viii. 19 


ii. 7-10. 
iii. 5 


xxiv. 1 . 
xxiv. 12, 13, 

17 74 

1 Samue 


ix. 30 . 
ix. 30-3 



iv. 17, 20 


xxiv. 1 6 


i. 22-28 


xi. 2 


v. 6- 1 9 . 


xxiv. 20 


ii. 1 1 


xviii. 32 


viii. 3 . 


xxv. 4 . 


»• 35 • 


XV. 1-21 


xxv. 7 . 


xii. 3 . 


1 Chronicles 

xvii. 9 . 


xxvii. 17 


xii. 16-18 


xii. 15 . 


xx. 17 . 


xxxii. 9 


xiii. 19-22 


xvi. 18 . 


xxii. 26 


xvi. 23 . 


xvi. 42 . 


xxvii. 20 



xviii. 10 


xvii. 10, 11 . 


xxix. 40 


iii. 15 . 


xix. 15 . 


xxi. 23 . 


xxx. 11-16 


iv. 18 . 


xxiv. 3 . 


xxiii. 5 . 




Index to Scripture References 

2 Chronicles 

Psalms {continued) 


Jeremiah (continued) 





vii. 6 


liv. 4, s 


i- 5 


xxxvi. 22, 23 


viii. 5 . 

I 53 

lxv. 10 . 


ii. 3 


xxxvii. 21 


ix. 17-20 


lxv. 12. 

3 2 

ii. 4 


xlix. 19. 


XX. 21 . 

21 5 

lxxiii. 14 


ii. 5 






lxxvni. . 


ii. 9 

20 5 


1 xxviii. 55 


vii. 8 . 


ii. 19 
iii. 6 


ix. 19 . 


xci. 5 
xcii. 3 . 


iv. 4 . 



v. 13 . 



civ. 15 . 


xi. 7 


v. 6 
vii. 2 



cv. 1 1 . 









xvii. 6 . 
xxii. 1 . 
xxii. 23 



2 3 

xvi. 4 . 
xvi. 12 . 


iii. 6 

xv. 33 . 



cxx. 4 . 
cxxvi. 5, 6 
cxx vii. 3-5 

xxiv. 1 1 
xxiv. 1 3 
xxiv. 17, 





xx. 34-38 
xx. 40, 41 
xxi. 14 . 
xxiii. 10 





xxviii. 9 


xvi. 22 . 


exxviii. 3 


xxxii. 8 


xvii. 13. 
xviii. 5, 6 


cxxxv. . 
cxxxvi. . 


xxx. 14 
xxxii. 14 


xxxiv. 27 

xix. 8 . 


cxliv. 1 


xxxiv. 13-17 



xxi. 12 . 
xxi. 17 . 


cxliv. 9 
cxliv. 1 2 


xli. 15, 1 
xlii. 1 1 . 


vii. 6 . 


xxi. 18 . 


cl. 3 

cl. 4 ■ 


xlv. 1 . 



xxiv. 2 . 



xlv. 2 . 


vi. 4 . 


xxiv. 3 . 


xlvii. 2 . 


xiii. 3 . 


xxviii. 18, 19 




xlvii. 5 . 


xiii. 7 . 


xxix. 23 


i. 14 


xlix. 22, 



xiv. 6 . 11 

9, 120 

xxx. 4 . 
xxx. 31 . 

xl. 18 . 




iii. 20 . 
vii. 9 
x. 26 


Hi. 10 . 
liv. 2 
lv. 1 . 





i. 18-20 


xiii. 9 . 

7 2 

lxi. 10 . 




xvi. 15 . 


lxii. 10, 
lxv. 5 . 

1 1 


ii. 6 


ii. 9 « 

4, 107 

xviii. 10 

• 133 

lxv. 25 . 


v. 5 


viii. 2 . 


xx. 14 . 

• 174 

vii. 1 7 . 


xvi. 5, 6 


xx. 20 . 


viii. 6 . 

. 165 

xx. 1, 7 


XXV. I I . 

• 243 



ix. 9 


xx. 5 . 

x 33 

xxv. 13. 

. 114 

ii. 32 


xxi. 3 . 


xx vi. 1 . 

. 114 

iv. 30 . 



xxiii. 4 . 


xxvii. 8 

• 257 

v. 6 


"• 4, 5 • 


xxxiii. 2 


xx vii. 22 

• 213 

v. 27 . 

• I?? 

iv. 13 . 

. 105 

xxxv. 6 


xxxi. 1 8 

■ 67 

x. 20 


vii. 14 . 


xxx viii. 4 

. 178 

xii. 5 




xlii. 1 . 




xiii. 16 . 


iii. 13 . 

• 154 

xlii. 3 . 


ii. 8 

. 21*5 

xiii. 23 . 


xlv. 14 . 

. 260 

x. 20 

• 245 

xix. 1,2, 

10, I 

1 108 



liv. 1, 3 

• 133 

xi. 7 


xxv. 10. 

60, 72 

i. 8 

. 46 

Index to Scripture References 



St. Mark 

x. 1 

x. 4 
xi. 3 




ST. Luke (continued) 




iii. 3 . 16; 

St. Matthew 

iv. 18 . 
v. 14, 15 
vi. 28-30 
vii. 13, 14 
ix. 6 
ix. 9 
ix. 23 
x. 9 
x. 42 
xi. 1, 2 
xi. 17 
xi. 21 
xi. 30 
xii. 1 
xiii. 4-6 
xiii. 24-30 
xiii. 47 . 
xiii. 47, 48 
xiv. 6-12 
xv. 22-28 
xvi. 6 
xvii. 27, 
xix. 24 
xx. 20, 
xxi. 12 
xxi. 13 
xxi. 16 
xxii. 1 -5 
xxii. 30. 
xxiii. 4 
xxiv. 42- 
xxv. 6 
xx vii. 5 
xxvii. 48 







97, 179 

11 1 








i. 16 . 
ii. 9, 11 
ii. 1 1 
ii. 14 
ii. 23 . 
iv. 25 . 
iv. 38 . 
vi. 8 
vi. 21-29 

• 45 ■ 

• 55 • 
viii. 22-26 
ix. 41 

x. 23-27 
xi. 17 . 
xii. 25 . 
xiv. 13-16 
xiv. 51, 52 
xiv. 54 . 

ST. hV 
ii. 7 

iii. 12-14 
v. 4-6 . 
v. 5-9 . 
vii. 12 . 
vii. 24 . 
vii. 32 . 
vii. 44-46 
vii. 47 . 
viii. 16 . 
ix. 10-17 
ix. 62 . 
x. 13 . 
xi. 37 . 
xiv. 8-10 
xv. 17-19 
xv. 25 . 
xx. 35 . 
xxii. io, 13 

















197, 217 













xxu. 31 . 

. 114 




xxii. 35-38 

. 148 


29 • 


St. Johi 
i. 44 
ii. 14 




25 • 


iv. 7-17 
iv. 14 . 





v. 8 



16, 17 


viii. 5 . 


x. 7, 9 . 

x. 11, 15, 17 
xiii. 23-26 



1 Timothy 


xiv. 3, 28 


xviii. 18 



xix. 23 . 
xix. 28-30 
xxi. 6-1 1 
xxi. 7 . 





37 ■ 





i. 19 
vii. 33 ■ 






ix. 25 . 


xiv. 22 . 


1 Peter 

xx. 28 . 



3 • 


xxv. 23. 


xxvi. 14 


2 Peter 





xi. 17-24 . 120 

1 Corinthians 
vii. 39 . . 223 
ix. 9 . 106 
xiv. 7 . . 217 

2 Corinthians 
vii. 10 . . 107 
xi. 32, 33 . 158 


xviii. 22 60, 217 

xviii. 23 . 73 

xix. 11-14 . 161 

xxi. 2, 9-21 . 242 

xxi. 9 . . 226 

xxi. 18, 21 . 164 

xxii. 15. . 179 

xxii. 17. . 171 




NEIL, James. 

Everyday life in the Holy land.